Middle East

CIA chief Pompeo visits Turkey to seek better bilateral relations

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo is paying an official visit to Turkey to explore avenues for an improvement in relations between Washington and Ankara, which soured under the administration of former US President Barack Obama.

Pompeo made his first overseas visit to the Turkish capital city of Ankara on Thursday, and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex. Head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Hakan Fidan, was also present at the meeting.

The CIA director held talks with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim the next day, where the senior Turkish official reiterated Turkey’s request for the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Fetullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government accuses of having orchestrated the failed coup attempt last year.

During the Friday meeting, Yildirim emphasized the importance of cooperation with the administration of US President Donald Trump, and called upon American authorities to fight the Gulen movement within the United States.

Ankara says it has been successful in significantly diminishing the power of Gulen’s supporters in state institutions following the botched July 15, 2016 putsch in Turkey.


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