Turkey Says Rising Anti-Americanism Can Be Calmed By Gulen Extradition. “It is in the hands of the United States to stop this anti-American feeling leading to hatred.”
Anti-American sentiment among Turks is on the rise and can only be calmed by the United States extraditing the Muslim cleric Ankara accuses of orchestrating last month’s failed coup, Turkey’s justice minister said on Tuesday.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan blames Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in rural Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers for the July 15 coup, in which more than 240 people were killed and nearly 2,200 wounded.
Turkey has launched a series of mass purges of suspected Gulen supporters in its armed forces, other state institutions, universities, schools and the media since the abortive coup, prompting Western concerns for the stability of a key NATO ally.
Erdogan, who was visiting Russia on Tuesday, has criticized the United States and the European Union for showing what he says is a lack of solidarity with Turkey over the coup and of caring more for the rights of people he views as traitors.
“There is a serious anti-American feeling in Turkey, and this is turning into hatred,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, broadcast live on Turkish television channels. “It is in the hands of the United States to stop this anti-American feeling leading to hatred.”
Responding to Turkey’s demand for Gulen’s extradition, U.S. President Barack Obama has said Ankara must first provide clear evidence of wrongdoing. Last week a State Department spokesman said Washington was evaluating new documents it had received.
The 75-year-old Gulen, who built up a network of schools, charities and businesses in Turkey and abroad over decades, denies any involvement in the coup and has condemned it. He has also accused Erdogan of using the coup to amass greater powers. Read more at Huffington Post.
Despite Warm Official Relations, Turks Remain Anti-American
You must be tired of hearing about this: relations between Ankara and Washington in recent years are at their warmest — in a sort of golden age. It is a “model partnership” or a “strategic alliance” based on mutual interests and values. At a time when Israeli-Turkish relations are at a low, relations with the US remain fabulous despite the presence of the notorious Israeli lobby which is supposedly controlling them.
According to the realist perspective on international relations, “Countries don’t have friends, they have interests.” Obama and Erdogan had serious disagreements over Iran only two years ago. Why were they unable to understand each other then? There are two basic reasons why relations improved in 2010. First, Turkey reacted positively to the proposal to install a NATO radar base on its territory. Second, Turkey’s political, strategic and potential military importance has been increasing since the beginning of the Arab uprisings and Syrian crisis. Common interests between two countries are just as important explanatory factors as good relations between the two leaders.
But a paradox remains: despite the smooth US-Turkey relations there is incessant anti-Americanism in Turkey. Indeed, the anti-Americanism that peaked during the Bush Administration continues under Obama.
Sure, everyone wants to send their children to the US for their education and applications for green cards and visas are ever increasing. Nevertheless, serious suspicions and fears of US conspiracies in its regional foreign policies are very much present. Even Obama’s positive image does not help. Thanks to Obama, anti-Americanism seems to have lost its intensity all over the world … except in Turkey. Read the full article at Brookings.