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ANKARA, Turkey – 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.