US should extradite Gulen, Trump’s top adviser says

US should extradite Gulen, Trump’s top adviser says

Ankara, Turkey, Nov. 10

By Ahmet Ismukhan – Trend:

Turkey should be a top priority in US foreign policy, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday in an article that slammed Barack Obama for failing to understand Ankara's geopolitical position, the Daily Sabah newspaper reported Nov. 10.

“We must begin with understanding that Turkey is vital to US interests,” retired Gen. Michael Flynn wrote for the Hill newspaper. He also called Turkey “a source of stability in the region.”

Flynn was a key national security adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign and is expected by many to be appointed to a Cabinet position, possibly as defense secretary.

The veteran general wrote that it was “an unwise policy” for the Obama administration to keep Ankara at arm’s length.

“We need to adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority. We need to see the world from Turkey's perspective,” he wrote.

Noting the extradition request by Turkey of Gulenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader, Fetullah Gulen, as one of the key points of contention between Washington and Ankara, Flynn suggested the US handover Gulen.

Earlier, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim congratulated the newly elected US president Donald Trump and called on him to facilitate the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of involvement in the July 15 military coup attempt in Turkey.

Gulen and his movement have a negative impact on the relations between Ankara and Washington, he noted.

“I am confident that if the US extradites Gulen in the shortest possible period, a new page will be opened in our relations,” added Yildirim.

Earlier, the Turkish Ministry of Justice officially requested the US to arrest Fethullah Gulen. In addition, the Turkish authorities sent two requests to the US for Gulen’s extradition. Prior to that, the Istanbul Court released an order to arrest Gulen.

On July 15 evening, Turkish authorities said a military coup attempt took place in the country. Meanwhile, a group of servicemen announced about transition of power to them. However, the rebelling servicemen started to surrender July 16 and Turkish authorities said the coup attempt failed.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said the death toll as a result of the military coup attempt stood at 246 people, excluding the coup plotters, and over 2,000 people were wounded.

He also declared a three-month state of emergency in Turkey on July 20. The state of emergency was prolonged for 90 more days on Oct. 3.

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