WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says extraditing a Turkish-born Muslim cleric blamed by Turkey for engineering a 2016 military coup attempt is “not under consideration.”
Fethullah Gulen (FEH’-too-lah goo-LEN’) has lived for nearly 20 years in self-exile at an Islamic retreat in the Pocono Mountains. He denies the allegations made by the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn). The U.S. has told Turkey it must present convincing evidence for any extradition proceeding to go forward.
Trump tells reporters that “we are always looking at whatever we can do for Turkey,” and he says the U.S. is “having a very good moment” with Turkey following Turkey’s recent release of a detained American pastor.
Trump is praising Erdogan as “a strong man,” ”a tough man” and “a smart man.”