Baku, Azerbaijan, April 1
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The extradition of Fethullah Gulen [Islamic public figure currently residing in the U.S.] is out of question, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, according to the Turkish newspaper Sabah.
Harf said the U.S. and Turkey are allies, but that does not mean that the two countries share the same opinion in all issues.
Earlier it was reported that Gulen requested political asylum in Canada. Gulen made this decision after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the possibility of his extradition from the United States.
Aside from Canada, Gulen also asked for political asylum in New Zealand.
Previously, Erdogan said it is possible to extradite Gulen, who he claims interferes in Turkey's internal affairs, helping to destabilize the situation in the country.
Turkish Justice Minister, Bekir Bozdag also previously said Fethullah Gulen can be put on the international wanted list.
The minister said a court decision is necessary to put Gulen on the international wanted list.
Turkish media reported on Feb. 25 that in 2011 telephone conversations of about 7,000 people associated with the representatives of both the ruling and opposition parties, including family members of the PM were wiretapped, as part of the anti-terrorist operation carried out by the Istanbul prosecutor's office against the Salam terrorist organization.
The telephone conversations of the head Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan were also wiretapped during the anti-terrorist operations.
Afterwards, Erdogan accused Gulen movement's representatives of standing behind the wiretapping of the phone conversations.
Erdogan also stressed that the Gulen movement (which he earlier called as a 'parallel structure') with its anti-state activities proved that it is not a religious movement, but a politicized and illegal structure.
Earlier, the prime minister also called on Fethullah Gulen not to intervene in Turkey's internal affairs and accused the U.S. of supporting him.
The council member of Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party, Mazhar Bagli said all actions of Gulen and his supporters are aimed at undermining the country's national interests.
Gulen is the founder of the Hizmet public movement, as well as, the Turkish Journalists and Writers Foundation.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.