Recently, Turkey claimed, that it won't do extraditions to U.S. until U.S. extradites Gülen to Turkey. (source)

Why U.S. do not want to do it? Turkey is one of its closest allies on Middle East. Please post answers based on statements from the US government.

Answers based on your point of view for this situation and political analysis are also greatly welcome.

  • This has been asked before, but the previous question appears to have been deleted. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 7:16
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    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 12:01

3 Answers 3


The U.S. has repeatedly stated that Turkey has not provided adequate evidence to link Fethullah Gülen with the crimes he is accused of, as required by the extradition treaty between the two countries.

The latest such statement was in regards to the 2016 assassination of Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov, from Justice Department spokesperson Nicole Navas Oxman:

The United States is awaiting evidence from Turkey over U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen’s alleged links to the 2016 assassination of Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov, and will consider an extradition request accordingly, Justice Department spokesperson Nicole Navas Oxman has said.

“We will review any materials the Turkish government may provide in this regard and will make any decisions about extradition on the basis or the facts and relevant U.S. laws,” Oxman told Russian state-run news agency Tass on April 2.

Source: US ‘awaiting evidence’ from Turkey over Gülen’s links to murder of Russian envoy Karlov. Hürriyet Daily News. April 03 2018, 10:00:00

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    It should also be noted that to be deported for a crime against Turkey, the U.S. must have an identical crime and the evidence must meet that definition of the crime, rather than the Turkish one.
    – hszmv
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 20:28

It's worth noting that US Government does not have the power to extradite Gulen on a whim as he is a permanent resident of the United States and holds a Green Card. Unlike deportation, extradition is only possible with a court order and US courts are independent from the government. If the Justice Department does not believe it has the evidence to convince the court that "a crime was committed and that the fugitive committed it" (and it does not: see answer from yannis), it won't send the case to court. Of course, even if the Justice Department does send the case to court, the outcome might not be what the government desires.

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    @user2501323 No. US law requires a court to agree that the provided evidence with the extradition request shows that a crime was committed by the accused. Turkey can't just say "he did it, hand him over". They need to provide enough evidence to convince a US court that he did it first. So far they haven't done so. If at some point in the future they do, they can have him extradited. This is very different from a blanket refusal to extradite like AFAIK is the case with Russia. Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 14:28
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    Presumably, you are from a country in which "government" refers to what in the US would be called the "administration". In the US, "government" refers to what in other country is referred to as "state". The courts are independent of the Trump administration, but they are a part of the US government. Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 14:50
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    @jpmc26 Different countries use words differently. Given that this is asking about the US, it is reasonable to use AmE. But it's a bit insensitive to call a statement "blatantly incorrect" due to it using BrE meanings. Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 15:45
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    @user2501323 The Department of Justice is only concerned with investigation and prosecution, it is separate from the judicial branch which are the actual judges. Issues like this would also most likely be heard in federal court and not a state level court.
    – Ukko
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 17:13
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    @Acccumulation Well, more accurately, the Legislative branch (Congress) passes laws (with approval or explicit override of the President), which the Executive branch (President and subordinates) then implements, and the Judicial branch (courts) performs trials to validate or invalidate what the Executive branch is doing with those laws. In the process, they have assumed responsibility for resolving differences between conflicting laws and different interpretations of laws.
    – jpmc26
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 17:52

Some guys added notable comments, but do not want to post answer, I'll try to compilate their point of view, because it is valuable I think.

Gülen extradition have some close ties with U.S. interacting with pro-Gülen forces in Turkey. When there was a armored coup attempt some time ago, all European countries reacts in public only after 4-5 days, when uprising was vanished.

Erdogan is not very comfotable for U.S. as ally, because he have some tension with U.S. in kurdish and human rights question, so U.S. have this ace-in-the-hole, Gülen, in their pocket.

P.S. About "state court decision" - really, I do not understand if a court of state can really affect U.S. foreign politics. If these courts are really independent from goverment decisions, it is a very strange scheme of power, I think.

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    Re your P.S.: So you think it would be fine if the government just said "let's send this guy somewhere" and it happened? In a state where law exists they can only do what the law permits no matter what is their political desire. The courts then guard that the law is really held and that the government cannot just send a person somewhere it wants. Or they could change the law, but then they must follow the constitution. I don't know much about the US law, I am from Europe, but this is universal in countries where law is kept and where dictators cannot do whatever they want. Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 11:26
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    The point of a state where law is held is that all types of criminals are equal and all must receive fair trial. Political prisoners should only exist in undemocratic regimes. And all types of crimes should be punishable by normal courts, even crimes against the state like high treason and similar. Neither CIA nor the Department of foreign affairs can have the power to take someone and send him somewhere against his will. Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 11:54
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    No, he is not a prisoner, he voluntarily stays at the embassy of Ecuador. If he is to be caught, he will be tried by a normal court and hopefully such a trial would be fair. If not, then a wrong thing would happen and yes, then I could imagine saying that such a process would be non-democratic. Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 11:57
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    This seems like an extremely Turkish-biased spin on an answer to your own question. As an aside to your P.S., not just state courts, but also federal courts are independent from the executive branch of the government. They cannot be ordered to decide something without evidence. If you live in a country without an independent judiciary, then you live in an autocracy because your government officials cannot be held accountable to the law.
    – Tal
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 14:43
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    @user2501323 I'm not sure what "faith" is involved here. The entire premise of independent branches of government is that you have more people watching each other, all in the public eye. People trust the system because the system itself does not trust any one person. It certainly must require a lot of blind faith for you to believe that an autocratic leader is incorruptible.
    – Tal
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 15:53

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