Turkey warns US over protecting Gulen
TURKEY warned the US yesterday not to sacrifice bilateral ties over Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the July 15 failed coup and wants to see extradited to face trial.
“If the US does not deliver [Gulen], they will sacrifice relations with Turkey for the sake of a terrorist,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters at a briefing in Ankara,
Turkey has repeatedly pressed Washington to extradite the 75-yearold cleric to face trial over the attempted putsch, which saw a rogue military faction try to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Mr Gulen strongly denies Ankara’s accusations and his lawyer said Turkey had failed to provide “a scintilla” of proof to support its claim.
Mr Bozdag asked rhetorically how the United States would react if a person responsible for violence in their country was being hosted by Turkey.
He said that if the US did not extradite Mr Gulen, relations between the two would be negatively affected despite being “two friendly countries” at present. –