Erdogan issues ultimatum to Obama: Hand over Gulen or Turkey cuts ties

Erdogan issues ultimatum to Obama: Hand over Gulen or Turkey cuts ties
Erdogan in the limelight after arriving at Ataturk Airport the morning of 16 Jul. (Image: Screen grab of France24 video via YouTube)

[Ed. – Big talk — but not the crazy proposition it would have been 6 months ago.  It could actually happen, in some form.  No, it’s not at all clear what it would mean for NATO, the military bases in Turkey, or U.S. use of those bases.  My guess: Obama will try to get someone like Qatar to take Gulen off our hands.]

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey gave the U.S. an ultimatum on late Wednesday: it must either hand over the cleric accused of planning last month’s failed military coup, or Turkey will sever relations between the two countries.

“Sooner or later the U.S. will make a choice. Either Turkey or FETO,” Erdogan said, referring to Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in Pennsylvania, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

The Turkish leader blames Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in Pennsylvania for decades, for the coup that killed more than 200 people and injured more than 2,000 others. …

Meanwhile, the deadline expired Thursday for suspected Turkish officials to return to the country’s capital as part of Erdogan’s crackdown to find those involved in the coup. …

Turkish officials also believe a naval officer working in the U.S. may be seeking asylum there after he supposedly left his ID and badges at his base near the end of July.

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