17:58 GMT29 November 2020
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    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will discuss the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric suspected by Ankara of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt, during his visit to the United States, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Cavusoglu is set to visit the United States on March 21-22 to take part in the meeting of foreign minsters from countries participating in the US-led coalition against Daesh.

    "The Gulen extradition issue will be voiced again. The Turkish foreign minister will touch upon this issue in the framework of his visit to the United States. Ankara expects from the new US administration a completely different approach to the issue of extraditing Gulen. We hope that these expectations will be satisfied and have results," Bozdag told the Anadolu news agency.

    The minister added that he would also discuss this issue during the telephone conversation with his US counterpart Jeff Sessions later in the day.

    On July 15, 2016, a military coup attempt took place in Turkey, but was suppressed the following day. Over 240 people were killed during the coup attempt and an estimated 2,000 were wounded. Thousands of people, including military officers, high-ranking civil servants and teachers have been detained or sacked in the country since the attempted overthrow of the Turkish government.

    Ankara accused Gulen, who has been living in the United States since 1999, and his followers of orchestrating the coup attempt. He has denied the allegations of involvement and condemned the attempted coup. Turkish officials have repeatedly asked the United States to extradite the cleric, fearing that Gulen could flee to Canada.


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