“The actors inside acted out a scenario for a coup written from the outside,” he said, before scolding the West for “supporting terror and standing by the coup plotters.”
The Turkish president noted that some European airports have advertisements saying “don’t go to Turkey, your trip would strengthen Erdogan” in reference to Austria
Ankara, which claimed that USA-based Fethullah Gulen was the mastermind of the coup, has been urging the US, Turkey’s strategic partner, to extradite him from his home in Pennsylvania.
In response to the request, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that they need “genuine evidence” to extradite him and that a court’s approval is required.
Erdogan considers the response as “a huge obstacle in our way of fighting terrorism.” “You have to be blind and deaf not to understand that he is behind all of this,” he said.
Erdogan questioned why they “keep on hiding and sheltering him (Gulen)” insisting “if we request the extradition of a terrorist, then you should fulfill that.”
Gulen has denied any role in the coup plot that the government claims could cost the economy up to $100 billion. Turkey fears that he might flee to a third country to seek refuge.
The government’s crackdown on those linked to the coup or Gulen continues and the latest was the rounding up of around 50 staff at the Gulhane Military Medical Academy including doctors. More than 18,000 people have been detained and tens of thousands fired by the government in what it dubs “cleansing the system from viruses and traitors.”
Critics say Erdogan is using the coup to neutralize his opponents as he strives to set up an executive presidency in the country.