WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Turkey has arrested at least 70 generals and admirals following the coup attempt as well as 21,000 teachers and deans of universities.
"Will Turkish-US relations come under — or be allowed to come under — increasing strain as Erdogan advances his crackdown? I don’t think so," Kiriakou said on Tuesday.
Kiriakou said that he expected the US government to try and influence Erdogan to ease up on his crackdown.
"I think the United States will quietly advise Erdogan, through diplomatic channels, to go as easy as possible on those who may have had some tangential tie to the plotters."
State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner stressed on Tuesday that the US government remained determined to support Erdogan as the head of a democratically-elected government.
"I believe that Erdogan, after purging the military and the police — something he has wanted to do for years — will celebrate the triumph of democracy, knowing the Turkish people took to the streets to stop the military."
Kiriakou also suggested that the failed coup last Friday and Erdogan’s moves to purge the military leadership since then had to be understood in the context of Turkey’s uneasy recent history.
"Military coups are nothing new in modern Turkey. They happen every so often."
Kiriakou gained international recognition as the only person the US government sent to prison for exposing the George W. Bush administration's torture program.