US Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP)
US Secretary of State John
Kerry says Washington is ready to help Turkey investigate a failed coup,
inviting Ankara to share any evidence it has against US-based
opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Kerry, who is in
Luxembourg, said Saturday that the US had not yet received a formal
extradition request for Gulen, who is now being blamed for Friday
night’s coup attempt.
Ankara said on Saturday that followers of
Gulen were behind the failed coup launched by a faction of the military
which used tanks and attack helicopters in an attempt to seize power
from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
“We fully anticipate that there will be questions raised about Mr. Gulen,” Kerry said.
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 judgments about
it appropriately,” he added.
Meanwhile, Yildirim warned that any
country that stands by Gulen will not be a friend of Turkey and will be
considered at war with Ankara.
Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer for the
Turkish government, accused the opposition figure of having “direct
involvement” in the coup attempt.
Amsterdam said he and his firm
“have attempted repeatedly to warn the US government of the threat
posed” by Gulen and his movement.
handout file picture shows exiled Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen
at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. (AFP)He said, according to Turkish
intelligence sources, “There are signs that Gulen is working closely
with certain members of military leadership against the elected civilian
Gulen, once a close ally to
Erdogan, fled to the US in 1999 after former secular authorities laid
charges against him. Turkey says it has asked the US to extradite him
but Washington has shown little interest in doing so.
claims Gulen has built a network of supporters in Turkey’s police, media
and judiciary and is conspiring to oust his government. Gulen, however,
denies the allegations.