Washington, July 21 (IANS) The US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called on Turkey to present evidence that US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind last week’s failed coup attempt.
“With respect to Mr. Gulen, we have consistently said to our friends in Turkey, our allies in Turkey, that we need evidence,” Xinhua quoted Kerry as saying at the Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq in Washington.
“We have a very strict set of requirements that have to be met for an extradition to take place,” he added.
More than 290 people, includes at least 190 civilians and 100 coup plotters, were killed in the coup attempt that swept Turkey on Friday night but was foiled by Saturday morning. The Turkish government claimed the failed coup was organised by Gulen’s followers and has sent official request to the US government for his extradition.
Kerry said he had asked his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to send evidence about Gulen’s alleged involvement in the attempted coup, rather than “allegations”, adding that “we need to have evidence which we can then make a judgment about.”
The top US diplomat also said that the US supported the Turkish government’s putdown of the coup attempt.
“We support the democratic government. We support the duly elected officials. We condemn this coup and we are clear about our desire to see democracy sustained and flourish in Turkey,” Kerry said.
“We want to make certain that as the response to the coup is implemented it fully respects that democracy that we are supporting,” he added.