The Turkish president is calling on the United States to choose between Turkey or FETO, an acronym for what Ankara calls the ‘Gulen Terror Group’.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was addressing a crowd of thousands gathered for a so-called democracy vigil on the grounds of his presidential palace on Wednesday (August 10).
His speech was also broadcast live to a similar rally in Istanbul.
“They will either choose the coup-plotter terrorist FETO or Turkey, the democratic country,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan was talking about US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara believes organised 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 failed coup.