Obama speaks with Erdoğan, offers help after failed coup
WASHINGTONU.S. President Barack Obama spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 19, offering U.S. assistance as Ankara investigates last week’s failed coup attempt, while also urging the government to show restraint as it pursues those responsible for the overthrow bid, the White House said in a statement.
“President Obama made clear that the United States is willing to provide appropriate assistance to Turkish authorities investigating the attempted coup,” the statement read, adding that Obama had also condemned “the attempt to violently remove the democratically-elected civilian government of Turkey and expressed his support for Turkish democracy.”
“He [Obama] further urged that the investigations and prosecution of the coup’s perpetrators be conducted in ways that reinforce public confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a daily press briefing on July 19 that the two leaders had discussed the status of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Erdoğan has accused of being behind the coup attempt and whose extradition Turkey has sought.
Earnest said the Turkish government had filed materials in electronic form with the U.S. government, which the Justice Department and State Department were reviewing. He said any extradition request from Turkey, once submitted, would be evaluated under the terms of a treaty between the two countries and would not be made by Obama.