Turkey receiving ‘positive signals’ from US on Gulen extradition
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Turkey receiving ‘positive signals’ from US on Gulen extradition

Ankara says its is compiling documents for Washington that link Pennsylvania-based preacher to coup attempt

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) welcomes his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif for a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Ankara on August 12, 2016. (AFP/Adem Altan)
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (L) welcomes his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif for a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Ankara on August 12, 2016. (AFP/Adem Altan)

Turkey said Friday it has received “positive signals” from the United States over its requests to extradite Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara accuses of ordering last month’s attempted coup.

“We have started to receive some positive signals on the calls we have made” for Gulen’s extradition, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara, saying further documents relating to the case for his deportation were being drawn up to send to Washington.

Gulen is accused of ordering the July 15 coup during which a group within the military tried to remove President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power. He strongly denies the claim.

Since then, Turkey has sent several documents to the United States which Ankara claims proves that Gulen was involved.

In this March 15, 2014 file photo, Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen sits in his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Selahattin Sevi, File)
In this March 15, 2014 file photo, Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen sits in his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Selahattin Sevi, File)

“Everyone in the world knows who is behind this coup attempt,” Cavusoglu said. Last week, an arrest warrant was issued in Turkey for Gulen.

The minister said Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden expressed their intention to come to Turkey but would not confirm previous comments made by Ankara that Kerry would visit on August 24.

Also Friday, Turkey and Iran pledged greater cooperation on resolving the Syria crisis despite their differences.

At a joint news conference Friday, Cavusoglu and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the two neighboring nations also intended to boost trade ties.

Zarif meanwhile expressed support to Turkey over last month’s failed coup attempt, praising the Turkish people for defying the “overthrow and use of force.”

Turkey and Iran have held opposing positions on Syria, with Iran backing the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Turkey advocating his departure.

Despite the differences Turkey and Iran will “strengthen cooperation for a lasting peace in Syria,” Cavusoglu said.

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