Gulen Extradition

Gulen Extradition

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President Trump’s assumption of power stands to affect the current extradition proceedings of Turkish Cleric Fethullah Gulen. The executive and the judicial branches share power in extraditions, although the executive wields an outsized influence in the process. This blog post explores the legal issues surrounding Gulen’s case now that President Trump has assumed office. Little has happened in Turkey in the past year without President Recip Teyep Erdogan’s regime drawing some spurious connection to Gulen. From this past July’s coup attempt to the recent assassination of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov, Gulen’s fingerprints, as Erdogan would have it, are all over the country’s recent political unrest. Gulen, a one-time political ally of Erdogan, has clashed with the president’s regime in recent years over accusations of corruption in Erodgan’s government by Gulen’s Turkish supporters. Gulen now stands accused of orchestrating this summer’s coup, along with offenses that seemingly predate that incident. Unsurprisingly, the Erdogan regime is doing everything in its power to pry Gulen away from the Pennsylvania compound where he has spent much of the last two decades. After a prolonged immigration battle with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (which Gulen won), the seventy-seven-year-old cleric is now set for a face off with an empowered Erdogan, fresh off his successful counter coup and seemingly bolder than ever. The Obama administration’s policy towards Turkey and Ergodan has led it to take a cautious, patient approach with regards to Gulen. The incoming Trump administration’s greater support for Ergodan, however, might mean a more forceful push toward extraditing Gulen. While the Obama administration carefully cultivated its relationship with Erdogan—who swept into office originally...