The White House is denying Turkey’s claim that President Donald Trump is thinking about extraditing wanted Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen back to Turkey.
“While meeting with (Turkish) President Erdogan at the G-20 (economic summit in Buenos Aires), the president did not commit to extradite Fethullah Gulen,” a senior White House official said Monday.
Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on CNBC television network that Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the U.S. is “working on extraditing” Gulen and “other people.”
Gulen is living in exile in Pennsylvania. Turkey accuses him of orchestrating the failed 2016 military coup against Erdogan.
Gulen denies the charge, but Turkey has demanded the U.S. turn him over.
The U.S. has said Turkey has failed to show enough evidence backing its claim against Gulen.
Cavusoglu said he has seen a “credible” FBI probe showing how the Gulen organization avoids paying taxes. Erdogan said last week his government would start targeting those who finance Gulen’s operations.