Europe

Turkey: US shouldn't 'sacrifice' alliance over Muslim cleric

  • A pedestrian passes a sign commemorating people who died fighting the July 15th coup, as the banner with the Turkish flag reads ''Sovereignty belongs to the people'' at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. Turkey will continue fighting whatever powers seek to undermine the government, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday as he addressed a massive flag-waving rally in Istanbul in the wake of the country's abortive July 15 coup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    A pedestrian passes a sign commemorating people who died fighting the July 15th coup, as the banner with the Turkish flag reads ''Sovereignty belongs to the people'' at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. Turkey will continue fighting whatever powers seek to undermine the government, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday as he addressed a massive flag-waving rally in Istanbul in the wake of the country's abortive July 15 coup. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tourists check their cellphones as street artists play music in Istanbul, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016.  Life has returned to normal, although a welling up of national pride and broad support for actions against the perpetrators of the failed July 15 military coup attempt, has drawn daily street demonstrations in support of the government.  (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Tourists check their cellphones as street artists play music in Istanbul, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. Life has returned to normal, although a welling up of national pride and broad support for actions against the perpetrators of the failed July 15 military coup attempt, has drawn daily street demonstrations in support of the government. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pedestrians pass under a Turkish flag as two men shake hands in Istanbul, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. A welling up of national pride and broad support for actions against the perpetrators of the failed July 15 military coup attempt, has drawn daily street demonstrations in support of the government and popular use of national emblems. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Pedestrians pass under a Turkish flag as two men shake hands in Istanbul, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. A welling up of national pride and broad support for actions against the perpetrators of the failed July 15 military coup attempt, has drawn daily street demonstrations in support of the government and popular use of national emblems. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's justice minister says the United States would be sacrificing its alliance with Turkey to "a terrorist" if it were to refuse to extradite a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey says is behind the July 15 failed coup attempt.

Minister Bekir Bozdag also told state-run Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that anti-American sentiment in Turkey had reached "its peak" over the issue of cleric Fethullah Gulen's return.

Turkey accuses Gulen of masterminding the coup attempt and wants him returned to Turkey to face trial. Washington has said it would need evidence of the cleric's involvement, and says the regular extradition process must be allowed to take its course.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, has denied involvement in the violent coup attempt that left more than 270 people dead.