Trump working on extraditing Erdogan foe, Turkish foreign minister claims

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By Max Burman and Reuters  with NBC News World News
Image: U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsy
Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, on July 29, 2016.   -   Copyright  Charles Mostoller

Turkey's foreign minister claimed on Sunday that President Donald Trump is working on extraditing exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, a longtime enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump told Erdogan at last month's G20 summit that Washington was working on extraditing the Pennsylvania-based cleric, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday at a conference in Doha.

"In Argentina, Trump told Erdogan they were working on extraditing Gulen and other people," Cavusoglu claimed.

NBC News reported last month that the White House was looking for ways to remove Gulen from the U.S. in order to placate Turkey over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests.

Trump administration officials asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing the exiled clericin an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said.

Gulen, 77, has become a contentious figure in Turkey after Erdogan accused him of orchestrating an attempted military coup in 2016 from his Pennsylvania compound.