Turkish, US officials discuss Gulen’s extradition

Istanbul—Officials say Turkish and American justice officials are discussing Turkey’s demands for the extradition of a US-based cleric accused of masterminding last month’s failed coup attempt.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry says its officials opened talks Tuesday with US Justice Department and State Department officials in the capital, Ankara.
Fethullah Gulen has lived in the US state of Pennsylvania for the past 17 years in self-imposed exile. He has denied any involvement in the July 15 coup attempt that claimed 270 lives.
The US government has asked for firm evidence before considering extradition. Senior officials in the Obama administration say Turkey’s extradition requests have been based on allegations of other crimes against Gulen, not evidence of involvement in the coup attempt.
Gulen has harshly condemned the attempted coup attempt by military officers that resulted in a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire that left dozens dead. But Turkey’s government is blaming the chaos on the cleric, who promotes a philosophy that blends a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.—Agencies

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