Exiled Turkish cleric in U.S. blamed for failed coup

Turkish soldiers secure the area as supporters of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan protest in Istanbul's Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. Turkey's prime minister says a group within Turkey's military has engaged in what appeared to be an attempted coup. Binali Yildirim told NTV television: "it is correct that there was an attempt." (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States would entertain an extradition request for exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey’s president blames for a failed coup.

But Kerry adds Turkey’s government would have to present evidence of Gulen’s wrongdoing that withstands scrutiny.

While visiting Luxembourg, Kerry says Turkey hasn’t made a request to send the Pennsylvania-based Gulen home. But he says he anticipates questions about Gulen, who has condemned the coup.

Kerry says on Saturday the U.S. opposed any attempt to overthrow a democratically elected leader. He says change must come through a constitutional process.

Kerry also says U.S. military cooperation with its NATO ally has been unaffected by the turmoil.

Turkey plays a key role in U.S.-led efforts against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

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