Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, a former adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, on Thursday said the U.S. had been slow to act on returning the head of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) to Turkey.
"The U.S. has failed to meet a reasonable demand of Turkey, its dear friend and ally," Malloch said in southern Antalya province at a symposium entitled "FETO as an International Threat", hosted by the International Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (UTGAM).
Referring to the return and extradition of Fetullah Gulen, Malloch said: "Even when presented with reams of information and dossiers of evidence, the U.S. State Department and the Justice Department have been slow or remiss to act."
Malloch said: "Turkey has a treaty with the U.S. and has itself extradited numerous assailants to the U.S. over the years. If Turkey harbored a terrorist who tried to overthrow the legitimately elected government of the United States, would we demand his head? You bet ya!"
Malloch added that Gulen and his FETO terror network paid for years to obtain support and cover in the U.S.
According to Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul on Thursday, Turkey has so far sent seven extradition requests to the U.S. for Gulen since Nov. 3.
Malloch also commented on the partial restoration of visa services after a nearly month-long row over Turkish staff at a U.S. mission arrested for alleged FETO ties.
He said John Bass, former U.S. ambassador to Ankara, "has overplayed his cards and is doing unthinkable damage to U.S.-Turkey relations" and "appears to want to destroy what took 70-odd years to build".
"His outright disdain for Erdogan and his AK (Justice and Development) Party are most newsworthy. And in the process we witness the horrible fallout."
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
FETO is also held accountable for being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions.