Turkey congratulates Trump on election victory

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim congratulated Donald Trump on his election victory Wednesday and expressed hopes bilateral ties would strengthen under new U.S. leadership.

The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had strained relations with Barack Obama's Democratic administration but Yildirim welcomed in the new Republican flagbearer.

"I congratulate Mr Trump for the presidency of the United States and I wish him success," said Yildirim.

"We hope our alliance with the United States will continue and that our partnership and relationships will develop."

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was another to hail the new leader.

"We congratulate @realDonaldTrump, President-elect of the USA. We desire to reinforce with the USA our strategic cooperation based on trust," he wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Yildirim called on Trump to a extradite "as soon as possible" the U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan's administration accuses of coordinating July's bloody coup attempt.

American authorities are studying the evidence against Gulen provided by Turkey before deciding on whether or not to extradite the former Erdogan ally.

U.S.-Turkish relations have worsened since the July 15 coup and the former's refusal to bow to Turkey's demands regarding Gulen.

He is accused of coordinating "terrorist" activity in Turkey from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania through what Erdogan's government describes as the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO).

Gulen, who has lived in the U.S. since 1999, claims to run a peaceful religious and educational network called the Gulen Movement.

Turkey and the U.S. have also locked horns over the ongoing civil war in Syria, in particular the role of Kurdish militants.

Washington has been supporting Kurdish units that have taken a leading role in driving back Islamic State militants in both Syria and Iraq.

However, Ankara considers them allies of the Turkish-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group that Turkey, the European Union and U.S. all consider a terrorist organisation.

Turkey has been accused of thousands of human rights abuses over several decades against its Kurdish minority by the European Court of Human Rights.

Source: National News Agency