Turkish Claims About US Support to Failed Coup “harmful”, Says Kerry

kerryThe US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Turkey against making claims that Washington supported the failed military coup on Friday night, dubbing such claims as “utterly false and harmful” to relations between the two powers.

Kerry made these remarks in a phone call with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu on Saturday, when he said that the US will continue to support the Turkish government and assist it in investigating Friday’s events.

The Turkish government has accused the US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen of orchestrating Friday’s coup and has demanded his immediate extradition.

Kerry told reporters that Washington would indeed by willing to extradite Gulen if Ankara could prove he had a hand in Friday’s events.

“We fully appreciate that there will be questions raised about Mr. Gulen,” Kerry said. “And obviously we would invite the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny. And the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgments about it appropriately.”

According to the US State Department Kerry told Cavusoglu 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.

Gulen has denied any role in the coup attempt.

Following the coup flights from Turkey’s strategically important Incirlik Airbase have been suspended. US-led coalition aircraft have been flying missions against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria from that key base for a year now.