ANKARA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Sunday denied the report that Ankara was involved in an alleged plan to kidnap U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating an alleged plot involving former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who met with Turkish officials twice last year and was offered 15 million U.S. dollars to kidnap Gulen from his complex in Pennsylvania.
In an televised interview with broadcaster CNN International on Sunday, Yildirim said: “No, we are not dealing with Michael Flynn, we are dealing with the government of United States.”
Fethullah Gulen has been blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. At least 249 people were killed and over 2,000 people were injured in the coup attempt.
Yildirim said the Turkish Justice Minister was in contact with his U.S. counterpart regarding Turkey’s extradition request. ” They are still in communication to provide some progress on that matter.”
He called on the White House to extradite Gulen, adding that Turkey sees “there is no any signal through which extradition will be in place.”
The Turkish Embassy in Washington released a statement Saturday rejecting that Turkey would use unlawful methods to extradite the cleric, describing the allegations “utterly false, ludicrous and groundless.”
The embassy said Turkey has been working with U.S. agencies to provide evidence of Gulen’s culpability.
Turkey has repeatedly demanded Gulen’s extradition from the U.S., which is one of the several disagreements between two countries.
Ankara claims that the U.S. has turned the issue into a political tool being used against Turkey.