from The Anti Media:
When earlier today we reported that Turkey has closed the airspace above, and suspended all US-led air missions out of the giant Incirlik airbase (which houses some 50 US nuclear bombs), we said that there is speculation the “airbase may be held “hostage” by Ankara as a bargaining chip ahead of demands for the extradition of Erdogan’s arch enemy, Fethullah Gulen, currently a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.” A few hours later this was partially validated when during a televised speech, Turkish President Erdogan called on the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric he accuses of being behind Turkey’s failed coup attempt.
To be sure, as we wrote first thing this morning, Gulen, who is currently residing in Saylorsburg, Peynnsylvania, said he condemned the coup “in the strongest terms.”
Gulen, as those who have followed recent Turkish history know, is Erdogan’s quasi-imaginary bogeyman nemesis; Erdogan has repeatedly accused Gulen of plotting a “parallel state” whose intention is to overthrow Erdogan, and has used that strawman narrative as justification to expand his powers and to push for a shift from a parliamentary to a presidential regime. Gulen wrote in his blog that “As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations.”
None of this mattered to Erdogan who said as Turkey’s strategic partner, Washington should meet the demand for the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Fethullah Gulen. He also added that Turkey had never turned back any extradition request for “terrorists” by the United States, implying it is the US imperative to extradite the man Erdogan accuses of starting last night’s failed coup.
As Reuters adds, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said on Saturday he had made clear in a call with U.S. counterpart John Kerry that followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen were behind a coup attempt, and yet strangely enough, “had not directly discussed the cleric’s possible extradition.“
The revisionist narrative spun by the Turkish government, goes as follows: a faction of the armed forces, deemed by the government as loyal to Gulen, tried to seize power using tanks and attack helicopters overnight. As we learned previously, one hundred and sixty-one people were killed, including many civilians, in the ensuing violence. Allegedly up to 3,000 soldiers have been arrested, a paltry figure in comparison to the total size of the Turkish army, recently estimated at 315,000 personnel.
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