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Gulen aide says cleric not linked to envoy's death

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 01:49

An aide to exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen says the group has no links to the killing of Russia's ambassador to Turkey. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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The body of Russia's slain ambassador arriving home from Turkey late Tuesday (December 20). Andrei Karlov was shot and killed 24 hours earlier by an off duty policeman. Now a Russian team is in Ankara to assist with investigations. The question: Was shooter Mevlut Mert Altintas a lone wolf, or part of a plot? Turkey suspects the involvement of this man: Fethullah Gulen. The Muslim cleric also accused of masterminding the summer's coup attempt. He lives in exile in Pennsylvania. His U.S. spokesman calling the accusations nonsense: (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPRESENTATIVE OF CLERIC FETHULLAH GULEN, ALP ASLANDOGAN, SAYING: "Well, this is a desperate effort, I think, on behalf of Turkish government to distract attention from the glaring security lapses surrounding the incident. Obviously the Russian-Turkish relationship, the Syrian crisis, under the circumstances, there must have been real strong security around him. So I think they're trying to distract the observers from these glaring lapses." Turkey wants to extradite Gulen from the U.S. So far Washington has resisted that, saying there isn't sufficient evidence. But the next president could have different ideas: (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPRESENTATIVE OF CLERIC FETHULLAH GULEN, ALP ASLANDOGAN, SAYING: "Mr. Gulen's lawyers have a strong conviction that the United States will follow the legal procedure as required by the extradition treaty. Although they are concerned about the statements made by some members of the Trump cabinet, they still think very strongly that the U.S. will follow the legal procedure as part of the extradition process, per the extradition treaty." Since the killing Russia and Turkey have closed ranks, blaming common enemies. That could soon include Washington, if it continues to block Gulen's extradition.

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Gulen aide says cleric not linked to envoy's death

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 01:49