Turkish officials have insisted for some time that a former ally of that country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was granted asylum in the United States, is behind attempts to topple Turkey’s government.
Nonsense, U.S. officials respond.
The controversy was renewed in December after a Turkish policeman murdered Russia’s ambassador to his country. A movement led by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gullen was behind the attack, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said. Gullen is the former Erdogan crony now living in the United States.
Secretary of State John Kerry took the Turkish official’s comment personally — perhaps unfairly so. Kerry spokesman John Kirby told reporters that “any notion that the United States was in any way supportive of this or behind this or even indirectly involved is absolutely ludicrous.”
“We need to let the investigators do their job and we need to let the facts and the evidence take them where it is before we jump to conclusions,” Kirby added.
Precisely. If Turkish authorities have evidence Gullen was involved in the assassination plot, it should be shared with U.S. officials and investigated here.
For that matter, U.S. authorities should be watching Gullen closely. If indeed he is using this country as a safe haven for plots against the Turkish government, Washington should put a stop to it. Failing to do so would amount to harboring a terrorist.