Luxembourg – Secretary of State John Kerry called his Turkish opposite number Saturday, July 16, to offer US support in the wake of a failed coup but also to protest claims Washington had backed it.
The United States was quick to denounce the military revolt in its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally Turkey and to express support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s elected government. (READ: Obama backs Turkey government as coup unfolds)
But some Turkish officials have reportedly suggested the United States was covertly sympathetic to the rogue military officers, a claim Kerry angrily denied.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Kerry had called Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for a second day running to promise US support in probing the coup.
“He made clear that the United States would be willing to provide assistance to Turkish authorities conducting this investigation, but that public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations,” Kirby said of Kerry’s call to Cavusoglu.
Earlier, Turkey’s labor minister Suleyman Soylu had reportedly suggested the United States was behind the revolt, which triggered fighting that left at least 265 dead.
Erdogan’s government has now apparently crushed the revolt but he has demanded expatriate opposition figure Fethullah Gulen be returned to Turkey from the US to stand trial.
Kerry said earlier Saturday, during a visit to Luxembourg, that the United States would entertain an extradition request if Turkey provided proper evidence against Gulen. – Rappler.com