Kerry Tells Turkish Foreign Minister Coup Accusations Irresponsible

Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa. Gulen is charged in Turkey with plotting to overthrow the government in a case his supporters call politically motivated. (AP Photo/Selahattin Sevi)
Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa. Gulen is charged in Turkey with plotting to overthrow the government in a case his supporters call politically motivated. (AP Photo/Selahattin Sevi)


Date posted: July 18, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday he told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu that it was irresponsible for his country to accuse the U.S. of involvement in Friday’s coup attempt.

In three phone conversations with Mr. Çavuşoğlu over the weekend, Mr. Kerry said he urged Turkey to play by the rules and follow international legal standards as it pursues its investigation. The U.S. is waiting for Turkey to present a formal extradition request for a Fethullah Gülen, an exiled cleric living in Pennsylvania who Turkey alleges orchestrated the failed coup.

“The United States is not harboring anybody. We’re not preventing anything from happening. We’ve never had a formal request for extradition,” Mr. Kerry said on CNN Sunday. “We need a solid legal foundation that meets the standard of extradition in order for our courts to approve such a request.”

Turkish government officials on Saturday said they would view the U.S. as an enemy if the Obama administration doesn’t hand over Mr. Gülen, who is a reclusive but influential Turkish cleric living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. for nearly two decades.

Mr. Kerry said Mr. Çavuşoğlu told him Turkey is compiling a formal request.

“We think it’s irresponsible to have accusations of American involvement when we’re simply waiting for their request, which we’re absolutely prepared to act on if it meets the legal standard,” Mr. Kerry said.

Mr. Çavuşoğlu, the Turkish foreign minister, and Fikri Işik, the Turkish defense minister, will be in Washington this week for a conference on Islamic State.

Source: The Wall Street Journal , July 17, 2016


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