In a confirmation that either the NSA remains painfully confused about global geopolitical developments (one can't help but wonder if instead of surveilling the world for dangerous developments, the US "superspy" agency remains mostly focused on local eavesdropping), or that indeed the Turkish "coup" was staged as there was no actual preparation for it, earlier today John Kerry once again repeated that "US intelligence had no infromation" about the upcoming coup.
While this was hardly surprising, a more notable development following Turkey accusing the US of being "behind the Turkish coup", was the US expressing concern that their longtime NATO ally and critical regional partner believed that Washington would try to overthrow their government calling the claims "harmful to bilateral relations."
As Reuters reports, John Kerry urged Turkey on Saturday to exercise restraint after a failed military coup sparked a government crackdown, and warned its NATO ally that public suggestions of a U.S. role in the plot were "utterly false" and harmful to relations. Kerry also said that authorities should respect the rule of law during their probe of the coup.
Suggesting that US diplomatic relations with Turkey are deteriorating rapidly, Kerry added that "public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations," the State Department said.
Responding to unofficial demands that the US hand over the cleric Fethullah Gulen, Kerry said the United States was willing to help Turkey as it tries to identify those involved in the coup attempt, but made clear it would only act if there was evidence against Gulen. "We fully anticipate that there will be questions raised about Mr Gulen, and obviously we invite the government of Turkey ... to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny and the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgments appropriately," he said.
This impasse so far has led to two practical questions.
The first one, a somwhat ironic spin on US foreign policy, asks whether Turkey has the right to drone Gulen since he is a "terrorist" and considered a threat to Turkey's government. Naturally, the US would and has done so repeatedly when "people of interest" abroad have to be eliminated. One wonders how Obama would respond to such an escalation by Turkey on US soil.
If Fethullah Gulen is considered a threat to Erdogan & Turkey's gov't doesn't Turkey have a right to drone strike him in Pennsylvania? @CNN— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) July 16, 2016
The second question is whether Turkey will ever formally submit an official extradition request. While there are rumors that this is imminent...
... so far it has not happened.
It most likely won't as Gulen had zero responsibility for the "failed" staged coup, and since Erdogan has nothing to gain from the cleric's extradition.