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ISTANBUL: -- The Turkish president is calling on the United States to choose between Turkey or FETO, an acronym for the “Gulen Terror Group.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was addressing a crowd of thousands gathered for a so-called democracy vigil in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
“They will either choose the coup-plotter terrorist FETO or Turkey, the democratic country,” Erdogan added.
If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hoping the U.S. will quickly spirit his archnemesis Fethullah Gulen out of rural Pennsylvania to stand trial in Turkey for plotting last week's failed coup against his government, he'll be sorely disappointed.
Erdogan has accused Gulen, a Turkish cleric and former political ally with whom he had a falling out in 2013, of engineering Friday's coup attempt from his self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, and trying to have Erdogan assassinated as part of the plot.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday that Turkey had given evidence of Gulen's involvement to the U.S. government after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Washington wanted hard evidence, not allegations.
But even if the U.S. agrees there is enough evidence to extradite Gulen, the extradition process could take months, if not years — roiling already strained relations between the two long-time NATO allies at a time they're waging a military campaign against the Islamic State in neighboring Syria and Iraq.