DOHA (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has instructed his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is engaged on extraditing a U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed Turkish coup in 2016, Turkey’s overseas minister stated on Sunday.
“In Argentina, Trump instructed Erdogan they had been engaged on extraditing (Fethullah) Gulen and different individuals,” Mevlut Cavusoglu stated, referring to the G20 summit the place the leaders met two weeks in the past.
Turkey has lengthy sought the extradition of Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed U.S. exile for almost 20 years. A former ally of Erdogan, he’s blamed by Turkish authorities for the failed coup when rogue troopers commandeered tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and shot unarmed civilians.
Gulen denies any involvement within the failed putsch. Trump stated final month he was not contemplating extraditing the preacher as a part of efforts to ease Turkish stress on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
Erdogan stated final week Turkey would begin new initiatives overseas to focus on the financing of Gulen supporters.
“I’ve not too long ago seen a reputable probe by the FBI on how the Gulen group avoids taxes,” Cavusoglu instructed a convention in Doha.
The White Home didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to touch upon whether or not the legislation enforcement company was investigating people or entities with ties to Gulen for tax evasion.
U.S. Consultant Invoice Pascrell, a Democrat, stated that reviews Trump was contemplating extraditing Gulen present his “affinity for strongmen.”
“Mr. Gulen doesn’t need to be a pawn in Trump’s makes an attempt to cowl up the homicide of a U.S. resident for the more and more lawless Saudi royal household,” Pascrell stated in a press release.
Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; further reporting by Amanda Becker in Washington; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Enhancing by Mark Potter and Lisa Shumaker