US general denies link to Turkey’s military coup

US general denies link to Turkey’s military coup
July 30 10:23 2016

The commander of US forces in the Middle East denied
 Friday that he had any link to the military coup attempt
in Turkey following accusations by the country’s
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
”Any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent
unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate
and completely inaccurate,” General Joseph Votel,
commander of US Central Command, said in a
”Turkey has been an extraordinary and vital partner in
the region for many years.

We appreciate Turkey’s
continuing cooperation and look forward to our future
partnership in the counter-ISIL fight,” Votel said,
referring to the Islamic State group.
Erdogan on Friday accused Votel of being on the side
of Turkey’s coup plotters after commenting that the
country’s turmoil could downgrade military cooperation
with Washington.

“You are taking the side of coup plotters instead of
thanking this state for defeating the coup attempt,”
Erdogan said in angry remarks at a military center in
Golbasi near Ankara, where air strikes left dozens dead
during the failed putsch on July 15.
According to US media reports, Votel had said the coup
bid and subsequent round-up of dozens of generals
could affect American military cooperation with Turkey.

In particular, Votel reportedly suggested the US had lost
key Turkish military interlocutors who are now in jail
and accused of being behind the coup.
”Know your place!” Erdogan told Votel, using one of his
favorite expressions of anger.
”The coup plotter is already in your country, you are
already feeding him,” he said, referring to the US-based
cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara accuses of being the
mastermind of the coup.
Turkey is a key member of the US-led coalition fighting
Islamic State jihadists in Syria, with its Incirlik air base
used as a launch hub for raids on the group.