The White House has reportedly denied remarks attributed to US President Barack Obama about Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, describing them as "not accurate."
"The response attributed to President Obama with regard to Mr. Gülen is not accurate," the official is quoted as saying.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday during a live TV interview that Obama received "the message" about his complaint of Gülen residing in the US.
Erdoğan said: “I discussed these issues with the esteemed Obama. I am hopeful. I said what was necessary. I said, ‘The person who is at the root of unhappiness in my country is in your country.' I said, ‘He is in Pennsylvania.' I said it very clearly. And I said, ‘I am expecting you to do what is necessary; you should [have] the right attitude if the men who threaten the internal security of my country are residing in your country.' And I said, ‘I have the right to demand the extradition of some men as you do for men who threaten the internal security of the US.' I openly gave these messages to Obama. And he looked at them positively. I mean, he said he 'got the message'.”
The White House official said in an emailed statement that the President noted the importance of sound policies rooted in the rule of law, as well as the importance of mutually respectful relations between the two countries during a Feb. 19 telephone conversation.
"Our commitment to working together with Turkey, particularly on a variety of regional issues of mutual interest, continues," the official was quoted as saying.