US calls claims of its involvement in failed coup bid ‘absurd’
WASHINGTONAllegations of U.S. involvement in the July 15 failed coup attempt against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government were “absurd,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau has said, reiterating that Washington “stands with the democratically-elected government of Turkey.”
“We’ve dismissed it absolutely as absurd, as without fact,” Trudeau told reporters on Aug. 8. “But what I can tell you is accurate is that we stand with the democratically-elected government of Turkey, as well as the Turkish people.”
Ankara and Washington have experienced strained relations since the bloody coup attempt, as Turkey has demanded the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, accused of orchestrating the bid. The U.S., on the other hand, has demanded tangible evidence linking Gülen to the coup attempt.
“The extradition process is a formal, legal, technical process. We’re not going to unpack that,” Trudeau said in response to a question regarding Turkey’s request for the extradition of Gülen and a number of others believed to be associated with the preacher.
The spokesperson was also asked about concerns that the nationwide detentions and suspensions of people accused of having links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) cause the purging of all opposition under the disguise of anti-terror operations.
“We’re 20 days away from what was a failed coup attempt. I think that this was a profoundly – it was a critical period for Turkey, and I think Turkey is still working through that. As we stand with Turkey, as they continue to investigate, as they continue to work through this, we have raised our views on – as they respect international norms and human rights within Turkey,” she said, calling on reporters to address questions regarding the exclusion of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) from the reconciliation process to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Trudeau also refrained from expressing worries over Turkey’s improvement of its relations with Moscow, which endured a serious blow after the former shot down a Russian fighter jet for violating Turkish airspace on Nov. 24, 2015.
“This isn’t a zero-sum game, and certainly the fight against Daesh is something that concerns all of us regardless of where we are in the world – not just Daesh, but violent extremism writ large,” she said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).