Turkey denies reports of plot to deport Gulen from US

Istanbul: Turkey has termed as “ludicrous” allegations that it offered several million dollars to the United States to extradite a political rival to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,  reports AFP.

U.S. media had earlier reported that investigators in Washington  were probing whether former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn discussed expelling Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen in exchange for a secret payout.

In the latest statement released on Saturday,  Turkey's embassy in Washington stated that all allegations " that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law for his extradition are utterly false, ludicrous and groundless”.  However,  The Turkish embassy in Washington DC, has in a statement released  said the Turkish people find Gulen’s continued refuge in the US “perplexing and deeply frustrating.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Flynn discussed having cleric Fethullah Gulen transported on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali. He was reportedly offered as much as $15 million for the act.

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller is examining the meeting Flynn had with senior Turkish officials. Flynn's lawyers fully denied the Journal story and called the claims as "outrageous".

The Journal reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned at least four people in regard to a mid-December meeting in New York at the "21" Club where  Discussions between Flynn and Turkish representatives reportedly took place.

Mr. Gülen  has been seen by Turkish government as responsible for masterminding the movement for the failed coup on 15 July 2016 against Prime Minister Erdoğan's government.    Ankara has been pressing for his extradition from the United States, where he has lived since 1999.   A former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Gulen fell out with Erdogan in 2013 leading to the government declaring  Gulen’s network a terror group.  The plot charges however have been repeatedly denied by Gulen.

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