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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Erdogan demands Gulen be extradicted

The military coup in Turkey has ended, the smoke has cleared, and the dead will be buried while the wounded get tended to.  And there were plenty of wounded.

Now comes time for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take President Obama's lunch money and give him an atomic wedgie.

In a televised speech Saturday, Erdogan called upon the U.S. to extradite the Muslim cleric who's responsible for the coup in the first place. He is living in Pennsylvania and goes by the name Fethullah Gulen. 

Obama, who tends to lead from behind, just might give the guy up to face the music-less consequences of Erdogan's brand of punishment. It will not be a pretty sight.

Secretary of State John Hairplugs Kerry said the Obama administration would entertain an extradition request but Turkey would need to show proof of wrongdoing by Gulen. Then it'll be all: "here, take him and do to him what you will . . . he's all yours."

"We would invite the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny," Kerry said in that monotoned voice with which he was endowed.  "And the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgments about it appropriately." 

Like they make appropriate judgments about terrorism.

Erdogan and Gulan had been political allies, and had a personal brouhaha in recent years over Erdogan's relentless crackdown on domestic dissent and the freedom of the media, which is now nonexistent.

Gulen left "Birdland" back in 1999 now living in exile in beautiful Pennsylvania and is an avid Steelers fan, or not. His place of residence is an Islamic retreat owned by Turkish-Americans. Their brand of Islam is considered "haram" to other Muslims who consider all forms of Islam that differ from their form of Islam to be haram, which is why ISIS kills people etc.

Anyway, this brand of Islam advocates democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue. Most other forms of Islam (excluding the Sufis) advocate Sharia which goes against democracy, and education for women. Insofar as science is concerned, most Islamic teachings regarding science can be taught by 6th graders with a "B-" average. 

Interfaith dialogue? Don't get me started on interfaith dialogue. Most Islamic teachings, especially where the Al Fathiha is prayed at the beginning of each session and many times in-between, basically hate the Jews, dislike the Christians and loath Hindus and all other religions that are not "of the book," meaning Christian or Jewish. 

Gulen doesn't interact with the media, but his sermons can be found online.

"Turkey will not be run from a house in Pennsylvania," Erdogan said. "Turkey is not a country that can be bought or sold cheaply."

Gulen made a statement in which he condemned "in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey" and rejected any responsibility for it.

The words Gulen used: "strongest possible terms," made John Kerry melt. 

Gulen said that "Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force. As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations."

Gulen's words: "I categorically deny such accusations" made Hillary Clinton melt.

Even before the coup attempt, over 2,000 Gulenites had been arrested in Turkey on various charges since their split in 2013. And in March, authorities seized control of Zaman (pronounced with a French accent as "the man"), one of Turkey's largest papers and which was associated with Gulen.

Gulen preached a moderate form of Islam and has powerfully condemned jihadist terror attacks, so it makes sense that the Obama administration sees him as a threat and will likely hand him over unless we make enough noise to stop his administration from doing that.

But who am I kidding? Nothing was done about Hillary, so why think anything will keep Obama from doing whatever he wants to do?

Certainly not the FBI or Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Allowing Gulen's extradition goes against our real values, not the values Obama says are ours. He believes in democracy, freedom, and the Pittsburg Steelers while Erdogan, who was elected democratically, believes in Sharia. We should not stand quietly by if the administration decides to send him back to Turkey. 

Okay, maybe not the Steelers.