Turkish deputy PM criticizes 'slow US response to coup bid'

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has criticized the U.S. for "giving a slow reaction" to the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been orchestrated by U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

"The fact that [the] Americans displayed a slow reaction in the wake of the coup attempt caused difficulties for the Turkish people to reconcile this issue with the friendship [between Turkey and the U.S.] And we shared this without reservations [with American officials]," Kurtulmuş, who was in New York to hold meetings regarding Gülen, told journalists on Sept. 7.

"Turkey officially does not have, and has not declared, such an assumption that American authorities are behind this coup attempt. There is no evidence or clear indication to speak towards that," he also said. 

The U.S. condemned the failed seizure of power a day after it was attempted, which was followed by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit two weeks ago. 

 "I wish I could have been here earlier," Biden said during the visit.

The deputy prime minister said Ankara expected Washington to extradite Gülen, saying that it was "not a question of time but a question of intention," adding that Ankara was "much more optimistic now" about its outcome.

During his speech, Kurtulmuş called the failed coup attempt an "unprecedented act of treason," as he urged Turkish people in Turkey and abroad to "remain unified." 

"The parliament has never been bombed in the history of [the] Turkish Republic. They [coup plotters] acted against the Turkish people and their elected government," he added. 

Kurtulmuş said that Gülenists had planned to polarize political parties in Turkey, but that the parties rallied around one common goal.

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