Erdoğan tells leaders about July 15, Gülen
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan (L) deliver remarks after their bilateral meeting alongside the G20 Summit, in Hangzhou, China September 4, 2016. REUTERS photoWhile meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in China, Turkish and U.S. delegations headed by the presidents of the two countries have signaled that despite ongoing tensions over issues including the extradition of the leader of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) and the rift over Syria, the two NATO allies were in solidarity to iron out their differences and provide assistance to each other.
The United States was committed to bringing the perpetrators of the July 15 attempted coup in Turkey to justice, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sept. 4.
Ankara accuses U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of being behind the coup attempt.
At talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, Obama said: “We will make sure that those who carried out these activities are brought to justice.”
Tensions between the two NATO allies have increased sharply since the failed coup attempt on July 15, with Ankara launching a wide-ranging crackdown and demanding that the U.S. extradite Gülen, an exiled former preacher living in the eastern state of Pennsylvania.
U.S. officials insist they will extradite Gülen if Turkey can present proof he was actually involved.
The meeting in Hangzhou was the two leaders’ first face-to-face encounter since the coup attempt.
Obama said the U.S. was committed to “investigating and bringing the perpetrators of these illegal actions to justice” and assured Erdoğan of American cooperation with Turkish authorities.
Erdoğan, meanwhile has said that a delegation from the Turkish Justice Ministry along with the justice minister and the interior minister was set to visit the U.S. as part of the procedures being followed for Gülen’s extradition.
Erdoğan urges common stance against terror
Following the Turkish-U.S. delegations’ meeting, Erdoğan said that it was noteworthy that the coup attempt in Turkey and regional acts of terror followed each other, while urging the two NATO allies to take a common and indiscriminative stance against all terror actions around the world.
Erdoğan also thanked Obama for the support he has shown for Turkey since the coup attempt and said that the long-lasting strategic partnership with the U.S. has turned into model partnership during Obama’s term and that this partnership was continuing.
Erdoğan said Turkey’s fight against terror in Syria and Iraq by group such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), was continuing with determination and added that he hoped not to see a “terror corridor” in Turkey’s south.
“We hope that there is no terror corridor in our south. In order to prevent such a terror corridor from emerging Turkey is giving a fight in solidarity with the coalition powers. I believe that we will win this fight,” said Erdoğan.