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Erdogan Holds U.S. Responsible for Gulen Possible Fleeing | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, said President Erdogan would not accept any message from him. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Ankara- Turkey has issued an arrest warrant for U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen over the failed coup. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the U.S. will be held responsible in case Gulen fled its territories.

In the warrant, Gulen stands accused of “ordering the July 15 coup”; the order for Gulen’s arrest is a step toward a formal extradition request from the United States.

Turkish judicial sources said that Gulen is accused of attempting to topple the Turkish government or prevent it from performing its tasks, depriving some individuals from their freedom by force, threat or deceit, committing murder, pursuing to destroy the constitutional regime and causing damage to public properties.

This is the second arrest warrant against Gulen, knowing that the first was issued in December 2014, accusing him of forming and directing “an armed terrorist organization”.

On Thursday, State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said that the United States is reviewing Turkish documents to determine if they are a formal request for Washington to extradite Gulen. Yet, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. administration is more likely to refuse extraditing Gulen to Ankara.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus commented on the U.S. demands of evidence, saying that the parliament which has been bombarded and the Special Forces Building where 50 people were killed are enough evidence on Gulen’s role in the coup attempt.

Erdogan said: “We handed out the required documents to the U.S. and we are waiting to see how President Barack Obama will react to this step.

There is no need to overestimate the role of Gulen; he has no potentials to arrange the 15 June occurrences individually.” “I wonder how will the U.S. justify itself if Gulen escaped the U.S. territories,” added Erdogan.

Turkish authorities arrested on Thursday Gulen’s nephew Mohammed Saeed Gulen. In his turn, Fethullah Gulen denounced this act and said in a statement that “certainly, the ruling regime in Turkey lacks judicial independence.”