US Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he understood the “intense feeling” in Turkey over the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara accuses of masterminding the July 15 failed coup and wants to see
Speaking at a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Biden said work was continuing by US legal experts to evaluate the evidence produced by Turkey “that need to be supplied to an American court” for an extradition.
“I understand the intense feeling your government and the people of Turkey have about him (Gulen). We are cooperating with the Turkish authorities,”
He added that the US has “no, no, no, no interest whatsoever in protecting anyone who has done harm to an ally. None. But we need to meet the legal standard requirement under our law.”
He said it would be an impeachable offence for US President Barack Obama to order the extradition of a foreign national. “We have no reason other than to cooperate with you (Turkey)… It always takes time… It is never understood why the wheels of justice move deliberately and slowly. It is totally understandable why the people of Turkey are angry,” he said.
Turkish officials have warned that if Pennsylvania-based Gulen is not extradited, relations will suffer further and anti-American sentiment will deepen in the country. A senior US official said today Turkey has submitted four extradition requests for Gulen but offered no evidence tying him to last month’s failed coup.
Yildirim said if the process of extraditing Gulen is expedited, Turkish people’s disappointment would be dispelled