Turkey has reportedly made a formal request to the United States for the arrest of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen on charges of orchestrating an attempted military coup on July 15. Mana Rabiee reports.
Turkey blames Fethullah Gulen and members of his religious movement for orchestrating the failed military coup of two months ago. Gulen has been living in a self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999....but now Ankara has reportedly -- formally -- asked that he be extradited to stand trial back in Turkey. The drama of July 15 began when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and fighter jets, bombing the Turkish parliament and seizing bridges in a bid to take power. Some 240 people were killed in the weekend of violence that followed. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed Gulen's extradition in China with President Barack Obama, who told him the decision needs to be a LEGAL one. Turkish officials say Gulen has built up a network of followers over decades inside the armed forces and civil service with the aim of taking over Turkey. Gulen, a former Erdogan ally, denies involvement in the coup attempt. And even if he WERE arrested, lawyers say the extradition process could take YEARS.