TURKEY (OBSERVATORY) – The United States supporting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is one of the biggest threats to Turkey, said the Turkish President. He also recalled Washington’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, accused of being behind a failed coup in July 2016.
Threats to Turkey are primarily represented by its strategic partners, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview for the Turkish TV channel NTV, implying that the United States is giving support to the Protection Units. of the Kurdish people (YPG).
“Where does the threat come from? First, it comes from our strategic partners […] Unfortunately, the United States and the coalition are transmitting arms and ammunition free of charge to terrorist organizations, “he said.
The Turkish President added that the United States had sent five thousand trucks with weapons to northern Syria, which poses a direct threat to Turkey.
Erdogan also criticized Washington for its refusal to extradite former Imam Fethullah Gulen, commenting on Washington’s request to release Andrew Branson, an evangelical pastor arrested in Turkey on suspicion of collaborating with the Gulen movement (FETO).
“The United States must remember the steps it has taken and abide by the extradition agreement if they want the American pastor Branson to be released,” he said, adding that American was illegal.
The Turkish authorities accused Mr Gulen of the failed coup attempt of 16 July 2016, although it was criticized by the former imam.
After this abortive coup, about 50,000 people, including Andrew Branson, were arrested in Turkey and 140,000 civil servants lost their jobs. In 2017 during a meeting with the Turkish President, Donald Trump had asked him to release the American pastor. Erdogan, meanwhile, proposed in September 2017 to exchange Fethullah Gulen against Andrew Branson.