A Turkish government minister claimed Saturday night that the United States was behind Friday’s failed military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Suleyman Soylu, Turkey’s Labor and Social Security Minister, made his claim on Turkish TV that the attempt to overthrow the government was planned by the United States, according to Arutz Sheva, Israel national news.
It was one day after President Obama urged the Turks to get behind the Erdogan government, and show restraint and avoid violence out bloodshed, according to US News and World Report.
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) July 16, 2016
On Saturday, Turkey shut down access to Incirlik Air Base, the staging ground for U.S. and NATO airstrikes against Islamic State militants. Incirlik also houses American nuclear weapons systems.
After power was cut and the Turkish government ordered a no-fly zone around the base, U.S. forces stationed there have been placed on condition Delta, the highest alert level.
Erdoğan called on the U.S to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric believed to be behind the attempted coup if America is a strategic ally. Gulen is also an Erdoğan rival, according to CNN.
— CNN Türk ENG (@CNNTURK_ENG) July 16, 2016
The 75-year-old reclusive cleric leads a popular movement called Hizmet and is currently living in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.
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