Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says Turkey is at war with any nation sympathetic to Muslim cleric and opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fethullah Gulen.
Opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen currently resides in the U.S. and his supporters are said to have organised last night’s bloody coup which saw 1,700 people killed or injured in Turkey.
The coup was led by an ex-Commander of the Turkish Air Force, according to reports. Akin Ozturk, was about to be linked with Turkish opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen and led last night’s failed coup, according to an Istanbul based news agency. See below.
The Turkish Prime Minister’s veiled threat against the US is seen as astonishing considering the close relationship of the two countries.
The Daily Express reports:
He said: “Any country that protects Fethullah Gulen will be an enemy to Turkey.”
Moderate cleric Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, has been a constant scapegoat for Erdogan who has accused him of trying to establish a “parallel state” to rival his own fiefdom.
The statement by Mr Yildirim will be seen as a thinly veiled threat to America to give up Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile at a religious retreat, or face diplomatic or even military consequences.
Gulen, the founder of an Islamic movement which carries his name, promotes a brand of the religion which promotes belief in science, interfaith dialogue and multi-party democracy.
US Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed to reporters today that America has not yet received a request from Turkey to extradite the religious leader.
He is a long-time opponent of tinpot leader Erdogan, who has accused him and his movement of fuelling insurrection and trying to establish its own institutions to overthrow the Government.
Gulen has issued a statement denying any involvement in the coup and condemning the attempt to overthrow Erdogan, who he was once close friends with.
In it he said: “I condemn in the strongest terms the attempted military coup in Turkey. Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force.
“As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations.”
He now lives at the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center, a compound in Saylorsburg, in the Poconos in Pennsylvania.
The Turkish chief prosecutor has claimed that followers of the cleric within the country’s army launched the coup out of desperation after realising that their sympathies were about to be discovered.
In a statement read out on TV during the coup attempt the leaders of the coup, whose identities are not yet known, said they wanted to return Turkey to being a secular democracy, adding that Erdogan had eroded the constitution set down by its first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Today US Secretary of State John Kerry said that America has not yet received a request to extradite Gulen.
Speaking to reporters in Luxembourg, he said it was his understanding that order had now “been restored” in Turkey and added that he hoped “constitutional process” would be followed in dealing with the plotters.
Mr Kerry also issued a statement of support for President Erdogan, saying that the US “stands squarely for democratic leadership in Turkey”.
Akin Ozturk, an ex-commander of the Turkish Air Force, led last night’s failed coup attempt before his possible links with Turkish opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen were to be exposed.
According to the DHA, Ozturk who was the commander of the Turkish Air Force from 2013 until 2015. Since August 2015, Ozturk has been a Member of the Turkish Supreme Military Council.
For about a year, Ozturk has been suspected of attempt to organize a military coup, the DHA reported.
The media noted that Ozturk could decide to carry out the military coup attempt before the upcoming military council, where his possible links with Turkish opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen were to be discussed.
Late on Friday, Turkish authorities said that an attempted coup is taking place in the country. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Turkish citizens to take to streets, stating that the coup attempt was carried out by a small group within the military.
The coup attempt was reportedly suppressed by early Saturday, with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stating that all coup supporters have been detained and the country is returning to normal life. Over 180 were killed and 1470 were injured during the events, while nearly 3,000 people have been detained, according to the prime minister.
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