ISTANBUL – Turkey's state-run news agency says the Justice Ministry has sent the United States its first formal request demanding the arrest of the alleged mastermind of July's abortive coup.
Justice Ministry officials told Anadolu the written request sent to counterparts in Washington alleged the Pennsylvania-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen "gave the orders and commanded" the violent coup that killed over 270 people. Gulen denies any involvement.
Turkish officials have been informally demanding the cleric's arrest and extradition for weeks.
During a meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in August, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "As per the extradition agreement between the U.S. and Turkey, these types of people should at least be detained, arrested and kept under surveillance. Yet that individual is still directing his terrorist organization from his whereabouts."