15:56 GMT21 January 2021
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    Turkey was too risky to be a member of the NATO alliance even before the failed military coup because Ankara’s loyalties lay in the Islamic world and not Europe, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief-of-staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s turn to the Islamic world, Wilkerson noted, makes for a fine mess given the political and military complexities of the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

    "Turkey is a very dicey character right now and has no business being part of NATO," Wilkerson said on Tuesday. "Rather than be a part of Europe, it wants to be part of the Islamic world that we are having trouble with right now."

    Turkish business groups, Wilkerson also claimed, see Erdogan’s erraticism as a bigger threat to their interests than Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

    Turkish officials have accused Gulen, who has lived in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, of orchestrating Friday's failed military coup and are demanding that Washington extradite him.

    On Tuesday, Gulen urged US authorities to reject efforts to abuse the extradition process for carrying out "political vendettas."

    US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner rejected on Tuesday media allegations that the US government had any involvement in Friday’s failed military coup in Turkey that resulted in 300 deaths and more than 1,400 wounded.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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