Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (AFP)
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the US’s stance on extraditing
Fethullah Gulen will determine the future of relations between the two
In an article published by Al Jazeera satellite network’s website on Tuesday, Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey’s calls for extraditing the opposition cleric.
position of the US on this vital matter is what may shape the future
relations of the two key allies,” he said, adding that, “Any support
rendered to Gulen and his terrorist organization does not comply with
the spirit of cooperation between Turkey and the US.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames Gulen (seen below) for the recent
failed coup in the country in which at least 246 people were killed and
more than 2,100 others sustained injuries.
say more than 60,000 people have been sacked, suspended or detained as
part of the government’s massive crackdown on those branded as coup
plotters or sympathizers.
statements of those under arrest and the information from multiple
agencies prove that this terrorist coup attempt was staged by the
Fethullah Gulen Extremist Organization,” added Cavusoglu.
has condemned the coup attempt and denied any involvement in the
violence. He has instead stated that the botched putsch may have been
staged by Erdogan himself as an excuse to crack down on dissent and
expand his presidential powers.
says it is considering Ankara’s extradition request, but Gulen would be
sent back only after compelling evidence corroborated his culpability.
putsch began overnight on July 15, when rebel soldiers declared they
were in control of the country and the Ankara administration was no more
in charge. Tanks, helicopters and soldiers then clashed with police and
people on the streets of the capital and Istanbul.