A theatrical fallout is taking place between Turkey and tough talking John Kerry.
Turkey accused the US of being “behind the military coup”, to which John Kerry promptly responded that such allegations are “utterly false” and harmful to relations. Kerry also said that authorities should respect the rule of law during their probe of the coup. Kerry also noted that there would be no prompt deportation of Gulen.
This did not lead to any change in Turkish claims. Yesterday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim threatened to go to war with any country that would “stand by” the exiled Fethullah Gulen; this would naturally imply the US which is where Gulen is currently located. “The US is behind the coup attempt. A few journals that are published there [in the US] have been conducting activities for several months. For many months we have sent requests to the US concerning Fethullah Gulen. The US must extradite him,” said the Labor Minister in a statement.
Now the tensions between Turkey and the Obama administration have spilled over this morning, when moments ago John Kerry threatened Turkey that it could lose its NATO membership “if it fails to uphold the principles of democracy in the wake of an attempted coup” the US has warned.
“NATO also has a requirement with respect to democracy and NATO will indeed measure very carefully what is happening,” Kerry tells reporters in Brussels after attending a meeting of European Union foreign ministers. It was unclear how that “requirement” fits with Turkey – one of the world’s largest, US-supplied military forces – housing the all-important Incirlik airbase which provides the US (and NATO) with a convenient staging point for air missions across the entire middle east.