FILE – In this July 2016 file photograph, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, in Saylorsburg, Pa. Turkey on Sunday dismissed as “ludicrous and groundless” a report that Turkish officers could have mentioned kidnapping Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, in trade for hundreds of thousands of . (Chris Post, File/Associated Press)
By Zeynep Bilginsoy | AP By Zeynep Bilginsoy | AP November 12 at eight:10 PM
ISTANBUL — Turkey has dismissed as “utterly false, ludicrous and groundless” a report that Turkish officers could have mentioned paying hundreds of thousands of to have a U.S.-based Muslim cleric kidnapped.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating an alleged plot involving former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his son at hand Fethullah Gulen over to Ankara for as a lot as $15 million.
Turkey blames the cleric and his supporters for a July 2016 navy coup try that killed 250 folks. Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, has denied being behind it.
The Turkish Embbady in Washington reiterated calls for late Saturday for the United States to extradite Gulen so he can stand trial. The embbady in an announcement rejected “all allegations that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law” to get Gulen again on Turkish soil.
Flynn’s legal professionals even have disputed the Journal report that Mueller was trying into a gathering the place Flynn allegedly mentioned a plan that will pay him and his son “to forcibly remove” Gulen.
Flynn, a retired lieutenant basic, did lobbying work for Turkey final 12 months.
“Out of respect for the process of the various investigations regarding the 2016 campaign, we have intentionally avoided responding to every rumor or allegation,” the legal professionals mentioned in an announcement.
“But today’s news cycle has brought allegations about General Flynn, ranging from kidnapping to bribery, that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exception to our usual rule: they are false,” they mentioned. .
Michael Flynn Jr.’s legal professional declined to touch upon the allegations.
Gulen has been residing within the U.S. for almost twenty years. He is a former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan till their 2013 public falling-out led the federal government to declare Gulen’s community a terror group.
Nearly 50,000 persons are behind bars in Turkey and greater than 100,000 civil servants have been dismissed from their jobs for alleged hyperlinks to the cleric’s community within the authorities’s crackdown after the failed coup.
Also behind bars in Turkey for alleged hyperlinks to Gulen is U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for over 20 years. Erdogan mentioned in September the U.S. was urgent Turkey to return a “cleric” whereas refusing at hand over one other “cleric.”
The Turkish Embbady mentioned the Turkish folks discover Gulen’s continued refuge within the U.S. “perplexing and deeply frustrating.”
Complicating relations additional is the case of a Turkish-Iranian businessman on trial within the U.S. for evading U.S. sanctions on Iran. A former Turkish economic system minister and an government of a state-owned Turkish financial institution have additionally been indicted.
In a gathering final week, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and U.S. Vice President Michael Pence mentioned the circumstances amongst different sources of pressure, together with the U.S. backing of Syrian Kurdish militants within the warfare in opposition to the Islamic State group.
Turkey has been infuriated by the U.S. badist for a gaggle it considers an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey for greater than 30 years.
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