The Latest: Erdogan calls on US not to delay cleric's return

AP News
|
Posted: Aug 18, 2016 11:49 AM
The Latest: Erdogan calls on US not to delay cleric's return

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The latest on developments in Turkey (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the United States not to delay the extradition of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating last month's violent coup attempt.

Addressing a group of Islamic civil society members on Thursday, Erdogan said Turkey and the United States were strategic partners and that Washington should "not make things hard for its strategic partner."

Turkey has branded Gulen's movement a terror organization and wants him returned to Turkey to face trial. Washington has said it would need evidence of the cleric's involvement, and says the regular extradition process must be allowed to take its course.

Erdogan said: "When you asked for the return of a terrorist, we did not ask for documentation... Let us put him on trial."

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, has denied involvement in the coup attempt that left more than 270 people dead.

____

6:25 p.m.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkish security forces have killed at least 182 Kurdish rebels in the weeks following the July 15 failed military coup.

Addressing a group of Islamic civil society members on Thursday, Erdogan said some 3,000 other Kurdish militants also have been detained, insisting that there has been no slackening in Turkey's fight against the rebel group as it deals with the aftermath of the failed coup.

Erdogan said Turkey was under "joint attack" by various organizations he said were in close contact with each other and were "acting under the same motivations even if they have different names."

Erdogan was speaking after a series of bombings targeting police and soldiers in eastern and southeastern Turkey killed at least 11 people and wounded more than 200 others.

Authorities have blamed the attacks on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

____

1:15 p.m.

Turkish police have launched simultaneous raids in 18 cities against companies linked to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen as authorities pressed ahead with a clampdown on his movement.

Turkey accuses Gulen of being the mastermind behind Turkey's failed July 15 coup attempt and has branded his movement a terror organization. Gulen denies involvement.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said police on Thursday searched 204 premises after warrants were issued for the detention of 187 businessmen. They are accused of alleged "membership in a terror organization" and "providing financial support to a terror organization."

Separately, a court ordered that 187 suspects' assets be seized, according to Anadolu.

___

11:55 a.m.

Greece's foreign ministry says it has received an official extradition request from Turkey seeking the return of eight Turkish military personnel who fled to northern Greece by helicopter after an abortive coup in Turkey.

The ministry said Thursday it received the request Wednesday and forwarded it to Greece's justice ministry the same day.

The eight — six helicopter pilots and two engineers — deny involvement in Turkey's July 15 attempted coup. They flew to the northeastern Greek city of Alexandroupolis the following morning and have applied for asylum in Greece, saying they fear they would not face a fair trial if returned to Turkey and that their lives would be endangered.

They received suspended sentences in Greece for illegally entering the country, and are due for asylum application interviews Friday.

___

11:25 a.m.

Turkish officials say the injury toll in two car bombings targeting police stations in eastern Turkey has reached at least 219.

A car bombing attack on a police station in the eastern province of Van killed a police officer and two civilians late Wednesday. At least 73 people — 53 civilians and 20 police officers — were wounded, official said.

Early Thursday, another car bombing hit police headquarters in the eastern Turkish city of Elazig. Murat Zorluoglu, the governor for Elazig, said the blast killed at least three police officers and wounded 146 people. At least 14 of them were in serious condition.

___

11 a.m.

Turkish officials and state-run media say two car bombings targeting police stations in eastern Turkey have killed at least six people and wounded over 120.

A car bombing attack on a police station in the eastern province of Van killed a police officer and two civilians late Wednesday. Dozens of other people, including some 20 police officers, were wounded.

Early Thursday, another car bombing hit police headquarters in the eastern Turkish city of Elazig. Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency says the blast killed at least three police office officers and wounded close to 100 other people.

___

10:40 a.m.

Officials say two car bombings targeted police stations in Turkey, killing three people and wounding dozens.

A car bombing attack on a police station in the eastern province of Van killed a police officer and two civilians late Wednesday. Dozens of other people, including some 20 police officers, were wounded.

Authorities blamed that attack on the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has launched a campaign of car bombings targeting police stations or roadside bomb attacks on police vehicles. Last week, PKK commander Cemil Bayik threatened increased attacks against police in Turkish cities.

Hours later, another car bombing hit police headquarters in the eastern Turkish city of Elazig, wounding several people, an official said.

Clashes between the PKK and Turkey's security forces resumed last year after a fragile peace process collapsed. Since then, more than 600 Turkish security personnel and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.