Turkey Formally Requests Extradition of Cleric Gulen From US

Previously, Turkish officials had verbally demanded his extradition.

— -- The Turkish Justice Ministry sent its first formal request for the United States to extradite Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen today, according to a Turkish news agency.

Previously, Turkish officials had issued public verbal demands for Gulen's extradition, but this represents the first time that formal paperwork was delivered to send the cleric to Turkey to face charges that he initiated the failed coup attempt that took place in that country in July.

"We are cooperating with Turkish authorities," Biden told reporters regarding the extradition request. "We have no, no, no interest whatsoever in protecting anyone who has done harm to an ally, none. But we need to meet the legal standard requirement under our law."

Gulen has led a mostly reclusive life in the U.S., where he's based at the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center, a compound located in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.

Gulen blamed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the failed coup in Turkey and suggested that it could have been “staged” by the government.

Turkey and the U.S. have a complex alliance, united in part by shared military goals.

Gönül Tol, director of Middle East Institute's Center for Turkish Studies, told ABC News that she believed Turkey to be "trying to use its military presence there to advance its agenda and leverage over Washington."

"Turkey still wants a no-fly zone in northern Syria and [are] laying the groundwork right now," Tol added.