Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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In a dispute between NATO allies, Turkey demands that the United States extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based Turkish preacher, to face charges of engineering a coup attempt. But despite increasing indications that his followers were behind the failed military uprising, analysts say concerns about whether Gulen could get a fair trial complicate Turkey's bid. Evidence against Gulen includes testimony from military chief Gen. Hulusi Akar, who has said a coup leader holding him captive described Gulen as the renegade group's "opinion leader" and offered to put Akar on the phone with the preacher.Turkey has sent documents to the United States and is preparing a formal extradition request.Turkey has also demanded that Gulen be arrested in case he tries to flee or tamper with evidence. Instead, U.S. officials have urged Turkey to lay out its extradition case, reinforcing suspicions in Turkey that it is somehow complicit in the coup. That could mean that even if Turkey can prove Gulen's involvement in the coup attempt, it could struggle to make the case that Gulen did not commit a "political" offense, said Mark Ellis, executive director of the London-based International Bar Association.
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