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Turkey's Erdogan, Iraq's Barzani Talk About Closing Schools Linked To Gulen

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraq's Kurdish regional President Masud Barzani have discussed shutting down Iraqi schools affiliated with Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for last month's failed military coup.

Meeting in Ankara on August 23, Erdogan and Barzani also discussed fighting the Islamic State and Kurdish PKK militants who are based in the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq, presidential sources said.

The sources said Barzani expressed his support for Erdogan following a July 15 attempt to oust him by rogue Turkish soldiers, who commandeered fighter jets, helicopters, and tanks in a one-day uprising against the government.

Turkish sources said Barzani agreed to close down the schools and other institutions linked to Gulen, who lives in the United States. Turkey formally asked the United States to extradite Gulen on August 23.

Gulen has advocated for peaceful, democratic rule in Turkey and elsewhere and practices a pro-Western brand of Islam. He has strongly denied instigating or supporting the Turkish coup attempt, which he condemned at the time it occurred.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Andalou Agency