Turkey lacks proof for Gulen extradition: lawyer

President Erdogan has accused the US-based cleric of orchestrating last month's failed coup.

The Turkish government's crackdown on followers of a USA -based cleric whom it blames for last month's failed coup has strained relations with the 28-nation bloc, which depends on Ankara to restrict the westward flow of migrants.

On Thursday, U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said that the United States is reviewing Turkish documents to determine if they are a formal request for Washington to extradite Gulen.

ISTANBUL (AP) - Dozens of special forces personnel were arrested in Turkey Saturday in the latest development in a sweeping crackdown following the failed coup in the country that killed over 270 people, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

A leading Turkish-American NGO has taken out an advert in a major US newspaper calling for the world to stand by Turkey's democratically elected government after the defeated coup of July 15. Washington, for its part, has asked for evidence of the cleric's involvement and has said the extradition process must be allowed to take its course.

On August 24-25, US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Turkey.

Austria's new Social Democrat (SPÖ) chancellor was the most senior European figure yet to raise doubts in public about EU-Turkey relations since last month's failed coup. Before his visit, a technical delegation of experts of the US Department of Justice will be sent to Ankara. Erdogan said: "We handed out the required documents to the USA and we are waiting to see how President Barack Obama will react to this step". He added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be monitoring Gulen and he should be detained.

Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, have warned that ties with the United States will be affected if it fails to extradite Gulen.

Erdogan has said there are 33 Gulen-run schools in the Central Asian republic.

Erdogan has also said he would consider restoring death penalty in Turkey, a statement that made European politicians say that would mean suspension of accession talks.

For a lot of Turks, the mystery of who was behind the coup was quickly resolved when the Turkish government immediately blamed US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, although Gulen denied any involvement.

"We know that the democratic standards are clearly not sufficient to justify (Turkey's) accession", Kern said in an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF.

The German embassy in Ankara has been trying to contact the woman for several days, without success, said the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which initially reported the arrest.

Before former allies Gulen and Erdogan publicly fell out in 2010, the schools were considered a key instrument in expanding Turkey's clout overseas.

A senior Turkish official said Turkey's intelligence found that two encrypted messaging apps, ByLock and Eagle, were used by FETO operatives to communicate messages and receive information from cells.

Gulen may not face extradition back to Turkey, according to a report Friday by the Wall Street Journal.

"There we will stand together as a single nation, a single flag, a single motherland, a single state, a single spirit", he said.



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