World Bulletin / News Desk
The State Department refused to comment Tuesday on whether anti-American sentiment in Turkey could be linked to the continued residency in the U.S. of the mastermind of a recent failed coup attempt.
Asked by Anadolu Agency if Fetullah Gulen’s presence in the U.S. could be the catalyst fueling the sentiment, agency spokesman John Kirby said he would not speculate.
"I can't get inside and I won't get inside the minds of the Turkish people or Turkish officials," he said while reiterating that the U.S. had "absolutely nothing to do with this coup".
The U.S. continues to support the democratically elected government of Turkey and to work closely with it as a member of the coalition to counter Daesh, according to Kirby.
Gulen is the ringleader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and has resided in the state of Pennsylvania since 1999. He is also the mastermind behind the failed July 15 coup attempt, according to Turkey.
Several Turkish officials, including the country’s justice minister, have cited intelligence information that indicate Gulen plans to escape from the U.S. to another country that does not have an extradition treaty with Turkey.
Kirby deflected a question about if the U.S. has taken any security measures to ensure Gulen does not escape.
"That's really a question for the Justice Department, not the State Department," he said.
The exchange followed comments by Kirby a day earlier in which he responded to a question by blaming the majority Turkish media for not doing "anything to stop” the growing belief that the U.S. was behind the deadly failed abortive coup.
Last Mod: 23 Kasım 2016, 07:51