Turkey urges US that harboring Gülen is a hostile act after coup attempt

Turkey urges US that harboring Gülen is a hostile act after coup attempt

ANKARA
Turkey urges US that harboring Gülen is a hostile act after coup attempt

Any country that would harbor Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the parallel state that is regarded as the mastermind of July 15’s coup attempt would not be Turkey’s friend, the Turkish prime minister has said, obviously urging the United States where the self-exile religious leader lives since late 1990s. 

“I do not see any country that would stand behind this man, this leader of the terrorist gang especially after last night. The country that would stand behind this man is no friend to Turkey. It would even be a hostile act against Turkey,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters at a press conference on July 16 as the coup attempt has been foiled earlier in the day. 

Yıldırım indirectly criticized the U.S. for not understanding the concerns Turkey had expressed about Gülen, saying “This caused us to pay a big price.” 

Prime Minister said Turkey has already delivered its request of extradition for Gülen.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke late on July 15 to his Turkish counterpart Çavuşoğlu, said: "We haven't received any request with respect to Mr. Gülen."

"And obviously we invited the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny and the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgements about it appropriately," he said. 

Standing alongside Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn outside the country's foreign ministry, Kerry told reporters: "I'm confident that there will be some discussion about that."

"The United without any hesitation squarely and unequivocally stands for democratic leadership, for respect for a democratically elected leader ... and we stand by the government of Turkey," Kerry said.

Washington's top diplomat said that the embassy was seeking to confirm that no U.S. citizens traveling in Turkey had been harmed, and expressed U.S. condolences to the relatives of those who have died.