Trump did not tell Erdogan he would extradite Gulen, White House official says
Donald Trump 'did not commit to extradite' Fethullah Gulen in meeting with his Turkish counterpart at G20, White House official says
MEE and agencies
US President Donald Trump did not tell his Turkish counterpart that he intends to
Trump "did not commit to extradite" Gulen during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the recent G20 summit in Argentina, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Turkey blames Gulen, a one-
Ankara has repeatedly called on the Trump administration to extradite him to Turkey to face charges for his alleged crimes and the extradition has been a major source of tension between Washington and Ankara.
Gulen has denied the accusations against him.
On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Trump told Erdogan at their meeting in Buenos Aires that the US "was working on extraditing Gulen and other people".
Cavusoglu also said the FBI has launched nationwide operations against the Gulenist
network in the US, Turkey's state-
"There is a serious investigation into [the Gulenist network] launched by the FBI in 15 states," Cavusoglu told the Turkish parliament, Anadolu reported.
"Moreover, arrests started in some states, including New Jersey."
Tension over extradition
The contradictory reports come as two former business partners of ex-
Flynn's former business partner, Bijan Rafiekian, was indicted on two criminal counts in the US state of Virginia, including conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, Reuters reported on Monday.
According to an indictment unsealed on Monday, Rafiekian conspired with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin to illegally lobby US government officials and influence public opinion in the US against Gulen, the Washington Post said.
The Trump administration's requests were greeted with incredulity and anger by US officials, NBC News reported at the time. "At first there were eye rolls, but once they realised it was a serious request, the career guys were furious," an official said.
Turkey and the US are bound by a 1979 extradition treaty, which states that both countries must satisfy a series of legal procedures and meet evidential standards before an official extradition request is granted.
But a clause in the treaty states that extradition will not be approved for an offence deemed to be of “a political character”.