Trump did not tell Erdogan he would extradite Gulen: WH official

An official told Reuters Trump didn’t commit during G20 to extradite Fethullah Gulen.

U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania
US-based religious leader Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania [File: Charles Mostoller/Reuters]

US President Donald Trump did not commit during a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 summit two weeks ago to extradite a Muslim religious leader based in the United States, a senior White House official said on Monday.

“While meeting with President Erdogan at the G20, the president did not commit to extradite Fethullah Gulen,” said the official, who spoke to Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity.

Erdogan blames Gulen for a failed coup in 2016. Gulen denies any involvement.

Turkey has long sought the extradition of Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed US exile for nearly two decades.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Trump told Erdogan at their meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina that the US “was working on extraditing Gulen and other people”.

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 Istanbul.

Erdogan said last week Turkey would start new initiatives abroad to target the financing of Gulen supporters.

Source: Reuters