Turkey denies report of plan to kidnap Fethullah Gülen from U.S.

Turkey has dismissed what it said were ludicrous reports that Turkish officials may have discussed a plan to seize a wanted U.S.-based Islamic preacher and hand him over to Ankara in exchange for millions of dollars
Fethullah Gülen (L) had been a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R), helping him to redesign and install his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) in power in 2002.
Sunday, 12 November 2017 15:58

The Turkish embassy in the United States has refuted reports on the attempts by Ankara to illegally achieve the extradition of Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, one of the masterminds of last year's coup attempt.

"As we stated previously, on March 28, 2017, all allegations that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law for his extradition are utterly false, ludicrous and groundless," the statement released on Sunday said.

The statement followed a Wall Street Journal report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating an alleged proposal under which former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son would receive up to $15 million for seizing Gülen and delivering him to the Turkish government.

According to the embassy, Ankara still expects "the immediate extradition of Fetullah Gülen from the United States to Turkey, so that he can stand trial."

Media reported in March that Flynn was involved in carrying out research on Gülen that may have benefited the Turkish government. According to reports, Flynn registered the Flynn Intel Group, his now-defunct consulting firm, as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act for work on behalf of a firm owned by a Turkish national with links to Turkish institutions.

Flynn's lawyer said on Friday that allegations made against him "ranging from kidnapping to bribery" were outrageous and false.