Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to talk Turkey with President Obama.
Still reeling from a failed coup, leaders in Turkey demanded the extradition of an Islamic cleric from Pennsylvania who it believes was behind the attempt, or it would consider the U.S. an enemy.
“Any country that protects Fethullah Gulen will be an enemy to Turkey,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday according to U.K. newspaper Express.
Erdogan called on President Obama to extradite Gulen.
“Dear Mr. President: I told you this before,” Erdoğan said Saturday. “Either arrest Fethullah Gulen or return him to Turkey. You didn’t listen. I call on you again, after there was a coup attempt, extradite this man in Pennsylvania to Turkey. If we are strategic partners or model partners, do what is necessary.”
Gulen, who lives in exile in the Pocono mountains, said Erdogan himself could have staged the attempted coup to get his political enemies.
“It could be meant for court accusations and associations,” he said before he accused Erdoğan of having “no tolerance for any movement, any group, any organization that is not under their total control.”
On Friday he denounced the coup attempt.
“Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force,” he said in a statement Friday.
“As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations,” he added.
Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. would consider extraditing Gulen, but it would first require evidence that he was behind the coup.
Kerry told reporters the U.S. “would invite the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny.”
“And the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgments about it appropriately.”
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