Turkey’s prime minister confirmed on Tuesday that an official request has been sent to the U.S. for the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, a key suspect being linked to Friday's failed coup attempt. The country had sent four files to the United States about the alleged activities of Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in a gated retreat in Saylorsburg, CNN reported.
The Turkish government has blamed Gulen, for orchestrating the quashed uprising. Turkey has repeatedly said the United States should return the cleric, but this is the first formal extradition request.
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Brussels that his country has "a formal process for dealing with extradition requests" and that Turkey "must send evidence, not allegations".
The government says Friday’s failed coup was organized by followers of Gulen, who is accused of pursuing a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through supporters within Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
"We have more than enough evidence, more than you could ask for, on Gulen," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters outside parliament. "There is no need to prove the coup attempt, all evidence shows that the coup attempt was organized on his will and orders."
Gulen said in a rare interview this weekend that did not think the United States would give in to Turkey's demands, but would comply if the State Department asked him to leave.
Also Turkey vowed to root out allies of the U.S.-based cleric. Ankara says followers of Gulen, who lives on a compound in the Pocono mountains of rural Pennsylvania, have infiltrated Turkey's institutions and are running a "parallel state".
"We will dig them up by their roots so that no clandestine terrorist organization will have the nerve to betray our blessed people again," Turkish PM said.