USA – (warsoor) – The United States on Monday urged NATO ally Turkey to exercise restraint and respect the rule of law in the aftermath of a failed military coup.
Turkey purged its police after rounding up thousands of soldiers in the wake of the weekend coup attempt and there have been calls to reinstate the death penalty for plotters.
The broad crackdown drew concern from Western allies who said Ankara must uphold the rule of law in the country, a NATO member that is Washington’s most powerful Muslim ally.
“What U.S. officials will make clear to their Turkish counterparts is that it’s critical for them to exercise restraint, to respect and observe due process and to protect the freedoms that are enshrined in the Turkish constitution,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing.
Earnest said he was not prepared to “pass judgment” on specific actions of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan since the coup attempt.
“The United States strongly supports Turkey’s democratically elected civilian government and that country’s democratic institutions,” Earnest said.
Washington has offered to help Turkey in any investigation into the failed coup, Earnest said.
Turkey is calling on the United States to hand over a cleric Ankara blames for the putsch, Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for years.
The United States has not received an extradition request from Turkey and would evaluate any such request according to its 30-year-old extradition treaty with Turkey.
“The suggestion that somehow the United States is harboring Mr. Gulen is factually incorrect. The truth is there’s been no extradition request put forward,” Earnest said.
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