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Ankara Says Kerry To Visit Turkey, Talks Expected On Dispute Over Cleric


Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to visit Ankara later in August amid strained relations with Washington over a U.S.-based Muslim cleric that Turkey has accused of being behind last month’s attempted military coup.

Cavusoglu said Kerry was scheduled to arrive in Turkey on August 24.

The Turkish minister also spoke about the possibility of a separate visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Turkey is demanding that the United States return the self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen to Turkey to face trial.

But Turkey has not yet filed a formal extradition request with the United States.

On August 4, a court in Istanbul issued a formal arrest warrant for Gulen on charges that he ordered the failed July 15 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

Kerry has said the United States would consider a formal extradition request for Gulen and would return him to Turkey if the Turkish government provides evidence of his guilt that withstands scrutiny.

Gulen has criticized the attempted coup and denied any involvement.

Gulen’s U.S. lawyers on August 5 expressed confidence that he will not be extradited, saying Ankara does not have evidence against Gulen that would satisfy the U.S. legal system.

They said any evidence obtained by torturing Gulen's supporters in Turkey would not pass scrutiny in the United States.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and Anadolu
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