US President Donald Trump has reportedly agreed to extradite US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey blames for a 2016 failed coup. This is according to a statement issued by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Cavusoglu said Washington is making efforts to extradite Gulen, the Reuters news agency and Turkish media reported on Sunday.
Cavusoglu cited comments apparently made by US President Donald Trump to his Turkish counterpart on the side lines of the G20 summit in Argentina earlier this month.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Turkey has long sought the extradition of Gulen, a one-time ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is blamed by Turkish authorities for the failed putsch when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and shot unarmed civilians.
Gulen, who lives in the US state of Pennsylvania, has repeatedly denied any involvement.
Erdogan said last week he would advance plans to target the overseas financing of Gulen supporters.
Cavusoglu told a conference in Doha he had “recently seen a credible probe by the FBI on how the Gulen organization avoids taxes”.
Since the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive purge on those with alleged links to Gulen’s movement. Around 218,000 people were subsequently arrested, some 50,000 jailed, and 140,000 civil service workers dismissed.
Meanwhile, human rights campaigners have expressed doubts over whether Gulen would receive a fair trial in Turkey.