President Donald Trump did not commit during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the G20 summit two weeks ago to extradite a Muslim cleric based in the United States, a senior White House official told Reuters.
“While meeting with President Erdoğan at the G20, the president did not commit to extradite Fethullah Gülen,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Erdogan blames Gülen for a failed coup in 2016, when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and shot unarmed civilians.
Turkey has long sought the extradition of Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed US exile for nearly two decades.
On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Trump told Erdogan at their meeting in Buenos Aires that the United States “was working on extraditing Gülen and other people.”
Gülen 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 İstanbul.