Erdogan tells the US: choose between Turkey and Gulen
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses people gathered at the Presidential Complex to protest the July 15th failed military coup attempt in Ankara, Turkey on August 10, 2016. (AFP/Kayhan Ozer)
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The Turkish president is calling on the United States to choose between Turkey or FETO, an acronym for the “Gulen Terror Group," which Turkey calls the followers of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was addressing a crowd of thousands gathered for a so-called democracy vigil in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
“They will either choose the coup-plotter terrorist FETO or Turkey, the democratic country,” Erdogan added.
Erdogan was talking about US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara believes organized last month’s attempted coup.
Responding to calls from the crowd demanding the death penalty for the coup-plotters, Erdogan again said he would approve any parliamentary decision to reinstate capital punishment.
Turkey has designated Gulen’s religious movement a "terrorist" group and wants Gulen extradited from the United States to face trial.
Washington has refused to hand him over because it says Ankara has not presented clear evidence of his involvement.
Gulen, who runs a network of charities and schools, has repeatedly denied any connection to the coup.
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