ANKARA (Reuters)—Turkey’s ties with Washington will be impacted if the United States does not extradite the cleric it accuses of masterminding a failed military coup, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday, adding he would meet with U.S. officials on the topic during a coming visit.
Cavusoglu made the comments in an interview with private broadcaster Haberturk TV. Turkey says cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, was responsible for the July 15 coup attempt that aimed to overthrow the government.
Turkey is in no position to become a European Union member any time soon and all negotiations for it to join will stop immediately if it reintroduces the death penalty, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday.
Turkish authorities have suspended, detained or placed under investigation more than 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, teachers, civil servants and others since a failed military coup.
“I believe that Turkey, in its current state, is not in a position to become a member any time soon and not even over a longer period,” Juncker said on French television France 2.
He said that a country that included the death penalty in its legislative arsenal had no place in the European Union.