MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States is ready to offer any necessary support to Turkey in the wake of July's coup attempt against the Turkish government, US Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
"We express in no uncertain terms the continuing, unwavering support of the United States for Turkey in the wake of last month's attempted coup. As I reiterated to the prime minister, we are available and ready to provide any assistance that the Turkish government or Turkish people need, if any, as they continue to move forward," Biden said during his visit to Turkey.
He described the coup attempt, which involved military strikes on the Turkish parliament building, as an attack against the heart of democracy, adding that the United States is impressed by the popular resistance shown to the coup perpetrators.
"The Unites States was shocked at the violation of the fundamental democratic principles that both our nations cherish. But we are also awed by the bravery of the Turkish people, who literally stood in front of tanks, some actually ran over by those tanks, to defend your democracy," the vice president said.
US Had No Involvement in Turkey's Attempted Coup
"Let me be clear, as clear as I possibly can, on any speculation, some of which I have heard, as to whether or not the United States had some advance warning, the United States has some foreknowledge, the United States had some complicity. The United States of America did not have any foreknowledge of what befell you on the 15th," Biden said.
He added that the United States would never support any such move by members of the Turkish military, describing the United States as Turkey's greatest friend.
"The people of Turkey have no greater friend than the United States of America," he said.
The two countries are tied by shared security concerns, common values and common threats, Biden said, expressing support for bringing coup perpetrators to justice.
US, Turkish Experts Working on Materials for Possible Gulen Extradition
On July 15, the Turkish authorities said that an attempted coup was taking place in the country, which was suppressed the next day. Ankara believes that Gulen and his supporters were seeking to overthrow the current government. Gulen, who has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied the allegations and condemned the attempted coup.
"I understand the intense feeling your government and the people of Turkey have about [Gulen]. We are cooperating… with Turkish authorities, our legal experts are working right now with their Turkish counterparts on the production of and evaluation of the material and evidence."
The US official stressed that Washington had no interest in protecting enemies of its allies, but legal requirements for extradition must be followed.