Turkey Needs Evidence for Gulen Extradition – Obama

Washington, 1 Syawwal 14377/23 July 20162 (MIN) – US President Barack Obama on Friday reiterated that Turkey needs to present evidence that indicates Fethullah Gulen’s involvement in the recent failed coup for the exiled Turkish cleric to be extradited from the US.

Obama told his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan, by phone, that extradition in the US is “a decision that our Justice Department and investigators and courts make alongside my administration in a very well-structured and well-established process, KUNA reported.

“So I told President Erdogan that they should present us with evidence that they think indicates the involvement of Mr. Gulen or anybody else who is here in the United States, and it would be processed the way that it is always processed and that we would certainly take any allegations like this seriously,” Obama told reporters after talks in Washington with Mexican President Pena Nieto.

Meanwhile, he highlighted that the US “would encourage that the manner in which this coup is investigated and people are held accountable and justice is done, is consistent with rule of law and the basic freedoms that I think the Turkish people have fought for and defended

“One of the challenges of a democratic government is making sure that even in the midst of emergencies and passions, we make sure that rule of law and the basic precepts of justice and liberty prevail. And my hope is that that is what will emerge,” he added.

Separately, in response to the concluded Republican Party Convention which blamed the Obama administration for rising crime and illegal immigration, he said that both have significantly dropped lower than past administrations.

The US violent crime rate “has been lowered during my presidency than anytime in the last three, four decades,” he said, adding “the rate of intentional killings of police officers is also significantly lower than it was when (Republican) Ronald Reagan was president. Those are facts. That’s the data.”

As for the rate of illegal migration into the United States, he said it is “lower by two-thirds than it was when Ronald Reagan was president. We have far fewer undocumented workers crossing the border today than we did in the ’80s or the ’90s or when George Bush was president. That’s a fact.” As for his talks with his Mexican counterpart, he said they discussed climate change, immigration, border control and economic and trade relations, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP).

Mexico is the United States’ third largest trading partner, with a daily trade exchange of USD 1.5 billion, he said.

“We sell more to Mexico than we do to China, India and Russia combined,” he added.

For his part, Nieto said the two agreed to increase commerical flights, to form an Energy Business Council and to cooperate more forcefully on tackling cross-border drug smuggling. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)