Kerry to visit Turkey amid strained ties after failed coup – Chicago Tribune

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Turkey later this month, Turkey’s foreign minister said Friday, amid strained relations with Washington over the possible extradition of a Muslim cleric accused of being behind an attempted military coup last month.

The Turkish government has expressed growing annoyance with what it regards as a lack of solidarity from international allies in the aftermath of the failed coup, as well as increased frustration over perceived foot-dragging by the United States over a Turkish demand that U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen be returned to Turkey to face trial.

Turkey accuses Gulen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt by renegade officers in Turkey’s military. It has designated his movement, which runs charities, schools and businesses across the world, as a terrorist organization and has launched a widespread crackdown on suspected members.

Gulen has denied involvement or prior knowledge of the violent coup attempt that left more than 270 people dead. Washington for its part, has asked for evidence of the cleric’s involvement, and has said the extradition process must be allowed to take its course.

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