Turkish president hints ‘his people’ see US involvement in coup attempt
urkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that “his people” believe the U.S. to be behind the failed military coup that took place in the country earlier this year.
Erdogan said he won’t blame the U.S., but questioned why the U.S. has not yet extradited the man he blames for the coup, an exiled cleric named Fethullah Gulen who is living in the Pocono Mountains.
“I’m not going to blame the United States. But that’s what my people will think. Why are you still keeping that man? So as long you harbor him there, I’m sorry, don’t get offended. But this is the — perception of the Turkish nation and the Turkish people,” Erdogan said Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
Erdogan dodged a question about whether he is doing anything to discourage the Turkish people from believing the U.S. was behind the coup.
“I cannot deceive my people. I cannot deceive my people here. Because I’m suffering right now. The United States is not suffering,” he said.
“But I’m suffering because of the 241 martyrs that we have buried.”
Erdogan immediately blamed the coup, which took place in July, on Gulen, whose followers have infiltrated Turkish military, judiciary and civil service.
“This man is the leader of a terrorist organization that has bombed my parliament. We have extradited terrorists to the United States in the past. And we expect the same thing to be done by the United States,” Erdogan said.
The U.S. has maintained that the extradition process must be handled through its courts to evaluate the evidence.
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