Fethullah Gulen is accused of orchestrating a failed Turkish coup in 2016, which he denies [Charles Mostoller-Reuters]
Reuters

US President Donald Trump told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is working on extraditing a US-based Muslim preacher accused of orchestrating a failed Turkish coup in 2016, Turkey’s foreign minister has said.

“In Argentina, Trump told Erdogan they were working on extraditing (Fethullah) Gulen and other people,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday, referring to the G20 summit where the leaders met two weeks ago.

Turkey has long sought the extradition of Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States for nearly two decades. A former ally of Erdogan, he is blamed by Turkish authorities for the failed coup when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and shot unarmed civilians.

Gulen denies any involvement in the failed coup.

Trump said last month he was not considering extraditing the preacher as part of efforts to ease Turkish pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Erdogan said last week Turkey would start new initiatives abroad to target the financing of Gulen supporters.

“I have recently seen a credible probe by the FBI on how the Gulen organisation avoids taxes,” Cavusoglu told a conference in Doha.

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