Turkey informs US Gulen's passport canceled on Jan. 26
The Turkish government told the U.S. authorities on Jan. 26 that it canceled the passport of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen for providing false statement, Anadolu Agency reoprted Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson's statement.
"Turkish foreign minister informed the U.S. officials about the decision to cancel the passport," Tanju Bilgic said at a weekly press briefing in Ankara.
American experts are of the opinion that if a similar situation of providing false information occurred during Gulen's American green card process, then procedures could also be launched in the U.S. to take that card away from him and deport him to Turkey.
Gulen used a green Turkish passport to travel to the U.S. in 1999 in March. Such green passports are usually given to government officials like members of parliament and army officials.
On Jan. 26, the governor's office of the southeastern province of Erzurum - Gulen's hometown -- nullified his green passport because of alleged inaccurate information he provided in 1990.
When Turkish authorities canceled Gulen's green passport, he reportedly did not demand a renewal of his travel document.
Michelle Estlund, an expert attorney on Interpol's red notices, said that if someone has an American green card and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security believed it was based on a false statement, then a process to retrieve the card could be initiated.
Efe Poturoglu, another attorney on migration, said the U.S. government had the right to take green cards back, but it needed an investigation first.
"Giving a false statement to the Turkish government for obtaining a passport will not automatically start a process for taking the green card back," Poturoglu said, adding that the officials generally investigated whether there was a false statement in the application for green card.
Anis Saleh, a professional attorney who is an expert on migration, said if someone lied to Turkish officials and entered a country with this passport and then applied for the green card with his or her name and information, this alone would not be enough to deport such a person.
However, Saleh said, if someone also cheated during application for a green card, then the U.S. government could launch a deportation process. "If he committed a crime and is a member of a terrorist organization, then he can be deported," he added.
If a person lived legally in the U.S., he can't be extradited or deported without a court decision, Saleh added.
Interpol notices only inform member countries about the suspects and the importance attached to such notices is related to the agreements between two countries.
Frank Rubino, an expert on federal and international crime cases, confirmed this aspect of the case, saying that Interpol notices were just for information and did not necessarily mean an extradition. Rubino said the important thing was the content of the agreement between two countries in such processes.
The country demanding the extradition must send evidence of the crimes committed by the wanted person, Rubino said, adding that the U.S. officials then evaluate the Interpol notices according to the bilateral agreements.
Also, a person living in the U.S. or a green card holder was not given any privilege in such extradition requests, the expert added.
Moreover, Estlund said, that if the U.S. Department of Justice learned that a person wanted by Interpol was living in the U.S., then it could decide to issue an arrest warrant. He said a prosecutor would be appointed if the decision to arrest was found appropriate. If the demanding country proved the wanted person was involved in terrorist acts, then this person could be extradited or deported, he added.