Hand over Gulen for jailed pastor, Erdogan tells US

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ANKARA – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan advised the USA Thursday that Turkey might launch a jailed American pastor if Washington handed over the Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara blames for final 12 months’s failed coup.

The US pastor, Andrew Brunson, has been held by Turkish authorities since October 2016 on expenses of being a member of Gulen’s group.

Ankara has repeatedly referred to as for Gulen to be extradited to Turkey from the USA to face expenses of ordering the failed coup bid.

Gulen, who has been residing in self-imposed exile since 1999, strongly denies the accusations of involvement. “They are saying ‘give us the pastor’. You’ve got a preacher (Gulen) there. Give him to us, and we’ll attempt (Brunson) and provides him again,” Erdogan mentioned in a televised speech.

The evangelical pastor was initially detained along with his spouse, suspected of actions “towards nationwide safety”.

Norine Brunson was freed shortly after her detention, however her husband was charged with being a member of the Gulen motion in December. They ran a Christian church within the Aegean metropolis of Izmir. Erdogan hit again at criticism of the Turkish judicial system after some American officers urged Ankara to not combine the circumstances of Gulen and Brunson.

“What does that imply? That you’ve got a judiciary, however we wouldn’t have a judiciary?” Erdogan requested with heavy irony. “The individual right here (Brunson) is being tried. However the one over there with you (Gulen) is just not being tried! He lives in a mansion in Pennsylvania! “It’s simpler for you (the USA) handy him over, you would give him straight away,” Erdogan added.

Putin in Turkey for talks on weapons deal, Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks on Syria and a key weapons deal, hoping to strengthen an more and more lively relationship that has troubled the West.

Regardless of a regional rivalry that goes again to the Ottoman Empire and the Romanov dynasty, Russia and Turkey have been working intently since a 2016 reconciliation ended a disaster attributable to the capturing down of a Russian warfare aircraft over Syria.

“Russia and Turkey are cooperating very tightly,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned forward of the one-day working go to by Putin to Ankara.

Erdogan welcomed Putin on the doorways of his huge presidential palace in Ankara for the night talks, shortly after the Russian president landed on the metropolis’s airport.

The 2 will maintain a working dinner earlier than a one-on-one assembly and a late evening press convention at 9:30 pm (1830 GMT), the Turkish presidency mentioned.

Turkey and Russia have been on opposing sides throughout the greater than six years of warfare in Syria, with Russia the important thing backer of President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey supporting rebels looking for his ouster.

However whereas Turkey’s coverage is formally unchanged, Ankara has notably cooled its assaults on the Damascus regime since its cooperation with Russia started to warmth up.

Each Moscow and Ankara are pushing for the creation of 4 “de-escalation zones” in Syria, according to peace talks in Astana, to finish the civil warfare that has raged since 2011.

With Moscow’s ally Assad now having the higher hand within the battle, Russia shall be hoping Turkey will carry the rebels it has supported into the political course of.

Turkey, a NATO member, has signed a deal reportedly price $2 billion (1.7 billion euros) to purchase S-400 air defence techniques from Russia, a transfer that has shocked its allies within the alliance.

Financial cooperation can also be starting to flourish, with Russian vacationers returning to Turkey and the 2 nations engaged on a Black Sea gasoline pipeline.

But analysts say that whereas each nations share an curiosity in looking for to discomfort the West by displaying off shut cooperation, their relationship falls nicely wanting a honest strategic alliance.

“Relations between Turkey and Russia might seem like pleasant, however they’re loaded with contradictions and set to stay unstable within the close to time period,” Pavel Baev and Kemal Kirisci of the Brookings Establishment wrote in a research this month.

Russia’s stance on the non-binding Kurdish independence vote can also be troubling for Turkey, for whom opposing Kurdish statehood is a cornerstone of overseas coverage attributable to its personal Kurdish minority.

The Russian overseas ministry mentioned Wednesday that whereas Moscow helps the territorial integrity of Iraq, it “views the Kurds’ nationwide aspirations with respect”.

“Russia has been making an attempt to abstain from taking a transparent stance on the problem and Turkey could also be desirous to get some assurances and explanations,” Timur Akhmetov, Ankara-based Turkey professional on the Russian Worldwide Affairs Council, advised AFP.

In public, Erdogan has shied away from attacking Russia’s stance on the Kurdish referendum, declaring that Israel was the one state that backed the ballot.

Deliveries of the S-400s, in the meantime, may very well be years away attributable to orders from China, whereas Ankara’s insistence on a know-how switch as a part of the deal might also create issues.

However each Moscow and Ankara are, for now, blissful to ship a message to the West that they’re severe about defence cooperation.

“They’re making an attempt to utilise the problem of the S-400 for his or her respective political pursuits,” Akhmetov advised AFP.

 

 

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