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Turkey to bring up extradition of Fethullah Gulen with U.S. this week

Turkey will discuss Syria and the extradition of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed for a failed coup last July, with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he visits Ankara this week, Turkey's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State is in Ankara on Thursday

U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, is shown in still image from video, speaks to journalists at his home in Saylorsburg, Pa. on July 16, 2016. (Greg Savoy/Reuters TV)

Turkey will discuss Syria and the extradition of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed for a failed coup last July, with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he visits Ankara this week, Turkey's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

In an interview with broadcaster TRT Haber, Mevlut Cavusoglu also said the arrest in New York of an executive at state lender Halkbank on charges of involvement in violating U.S. sanctions on Iran would also be discussed.

Gulen, who turns 76 in April, left Turkey in 1999.

Since the coup, Turkey has purged thousands from the public service, police and media it believes were sympathetic to the coup.

The zeal to seek out Gulen sympathizers has extended to other countries as well.

Germany on Tuesday launched a second investigation into suspected spying by Turkey

"We have launched an investigation against an unnamed entity on suspicion of espionage," a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor's Office (GBA) said.

He declined to comment on German media reports that the entity was the Turkish Intelligence Agency (MIT) and that it suspected of spying on supporters of Gulen.

A GBA spokeswoman said the investigation was separate from an investigation launched earlier this year into possible spying by clerics sent to Germany by the Turkish government. She said: "This is a new investigation that was begun today. Both cases involve suspected espionage involving Turkey, but at this moment there is no common substance to the two probes."

Germany and other western European countries have angered Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan by restricting or banning rallies to promote a referendum that would grant him sweeping new powers.

Erdogan accused Germany of using "Nazi" tactics, something the new German president last week said threatened Turkey's foreign relations and everything the country had achieved in recent years.

Erdogan also lashed out at the Netherlands for similar reasons in the days preceding the Dutch election.

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