The White House's sick bid to bribe Turkey’s tyrant

Khashoggi a critic of Saudi policy was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on October 2

Khashoggi a critic of Saudi policy was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on October 2

As the USA and Saudi Arabia continue to try to clean up the mess caused by the killing of a journalist in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the White House is said to be exploring a controversial way to appease Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The move is said to be aimed at appeasing Erdogan and easing Turkey's pressure on Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, according to two senior USA officials and two other people briefed on the requests.

"We did talk about Fethullah Gulen", Pompeo said.

The Trump administration has sought ways to legally turn Gulen over to Erdogan, including extradition, in an effort to help "ease pressure on the Saudi government", four sources reportedly told NBC News.

The White House is finding ways to extradite the US-based Turkish dissident Fethullah Gulen, an arch-rival of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a media report says.

NBC News cited sources as saying the Trump administration had directed the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation to reopen Turkey's case for Gulen's extradition and also asked the Department of Homeland Security for information about his legal status.

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The Trump administration has been examining ways to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in Pennsylvania with a green card for nearly two decades, the report says.

But Nauert insisted that "there is no relation" between the Gulen extradition issue and Turkish pressure on Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

The allegations of Washington's bid to extradite Erdogan's arch-foe seem to be part of the same scenario. News reports that Gulen's extradition would be a way to "placate Turkey over the murder".

"We definitely see no connection between the two", the official said.

Following his disappearance on October 2, Turkish officials kept up a steady stream of leaks on the gory details of Khashoggi's killing even as Saudi Arabia denied involvement. The Turkish government credits the exiled cleric with orchestrating the attempted takeover, and has accused him of leading an "armed terrorist organization".

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