ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan suggested on Thursday that Turkey could free a detained U.S. pastor if the United States handed over a Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Ankara has blamed for a failed military coup last year, an idea that Washington appeared to dismiss.
Turkey has been seeking the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan whose supporters are blamed for trying to overthrow Erdogan’s government in July 2016.
Gulen has denied any role in the coup attempt, in which 250 people were killed. U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said the Turkish government has yet to provide enough evidence for the U.S. Justice Department to act.
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