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Turkey to seek extradition of 45 coup suspects

A Turkish court has sought extraditions of 45 fugitives involved in last year’s defeated coup, according to judicial officials, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.

 

The 4th criminal court in the capital Ankara is hearing a case involving 221 defendants including Fetullah Terrorist Organization’s (FETO) U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen, who is being tried in absentia.

 

FETO and its leader Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

 

The court on Thursday asked the Justice Ministry to file extradition requests for 45 defendants to related countries, said the officials, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

 

The fugitives have been found living in 22 countries including the U.S., Germany, Malta, Israel, the U.K., Norway, Egypt, Mozambique, Thailand, Albania, Turkmenistan and Madagascar.

 

The fugitives for whom extradition requests would be sent to the U.S. include former editor-in-chief of FETO-linked Zaman newspaper Ekrem Dumanli, FETO’s imam in judiciary Ahmet Can, imam in Aegean region Bekir Baz; Mehmet Ali Buyukcelebi, Ismail Buyukcelebi and Ahmet Kurucan from advisory commission; Sait Aksoy, who is in charge of police and military schools; Seref Ali Tekalan, appointed rector of North American University, Texas, and Hamdullah Bayram Ozturk, the group’s in charge in South America, the officials added.

 

Earlier on Thursday, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said Turkey has so far sent seven extradition requests to the U.S. for Gulen.

 

Extradition requests for Gulen

 

Speaking before the parliament's Planning and Budget Committee in capital Ankara, Gul told lawmakers that Turkey was continuing with its efforts to extradite Gulen from the U.S.

 

Since Nov. 3, 2017, “seven extradition requests and a separate request for provisional arrest [for Gulen] have been sent to the U.S."

 

The minister also said the judicial process against Gulen was continuing in Turkey.

 

Gul added the Turkish nation was awaiting the extradition of Gulen as its legal right under international law and bilateral agreements.

 

Also, extradition requests would be submitted to the U.K. government for the head of Koza Ipek Holding Hamdi Akin Ipek, former executive head of Bank Asya Ali Celik, Head of the Writers and Journalists Foundation Mustafa Yesil and FETO’s in charge in Iraq Talip Buyuk.

 

Germany would be requested to extradite one of top figures after Gulen, Abdullah Aymaz; Ahmet Kara, one of imams in judiciary; Faruk Ilk, responsible for FETO-linked magazines, and Mehmet Ali Sengul.

 

Defendants, who were accused of attempting to overthrow the government and violate the constitution, are facing up to two times aggravated life sentences.

 

They are also facing 132 years in prison each of “setting up an armed terror group,” military and political espionage, forging documents and laundering money.

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