RELIGION

Turkey urges extradition of Muslim cleric over failed coup

FILE - In this July 2016 file photo, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, in Saylorsburg, Pa. Turkey’s justice minister on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, pressed the U.S. to extradite Gulen who he accuses of orchestrating the July failed coup attempt or risk seriously harming relations between the two countries.  (AP Photo/Chris Post, File)

FILE - In this July 2016 file photo, Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, in Saylorsburg, Pa. Turkey’s justice minister on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, pressed the U.S. to extradite Gulen who he accuses of orchestrating the July failed coup attempt or risk seriously harming relations between the two countries. (AP Photo/Chris Post, File)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's justice minister is reiterating demands that the United States extradite a Muslim cleric it accuses of orchestrating the July failed coup attempt.

Bekir Bozdag spoke to reporters on Thursday, a day after meeting with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Ankara claims that Pennsylvania-based Fethullah Gulen was the mastermind of the coup and wants him handed over to Turkey. Gulen denies involvement.

Bozdag accused Gulen of being a terrorist and compared him to Osama Bin Laden, saying: "Whatever Osama bin Laden means for the United States and for the American people, Fethullah Gulen means the same for Turkey and Turkish people."

The U.S. has been reluctant to extradite Gulen, stressing that Turkey must first present sufficient evidence of his involvement.