Turkey warned the U.S. Tuesday not to sacrifice bilateral ties over Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the July 15 failed coup and wants to see extradited to face trial.

 

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“If the U.S. does not deliver (Gulen), they will sacrifice relations with Turkey for the sake of a terrorist,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters during a televised briefing in the capital Ankara.

 

Turkey has repeatedly pressed Washington to extradite the 75-year-old cleric to face trial over the attempted putsch, which saw a rogue military faction try to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

Gulen strongly denies Ankara’s accusations and his lawyer last Friday said Turkey had failed to provide “a scintilla” of proof to support its claim.