From Zero Hedge:
When earlier today we reported that Turkey has closed the airspace above, and suspended all US-led air missions out of the giant Incirlik airbase (which houses some 50 US nuclear bombs), we said that there is speculation the “airbase may be held “hostage” by Ankara as a bargaining chip ahead of demands for the extradition of Erdogan’s arch enemy, Fethullah Gulen, currently a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.” A few hours later this was partially validated when during a televised speech, Turkish President Erdogan called on the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric he accuses of being behind Turkey’s failed coup attempt.
Erdogan demands US extradite ‘head of terrorist’ referring to Gulen while the crowd shouts ‘death penalty for Feto’! pic.twitter.com/DjFVoxZVXy
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) July 16, 2016
At roughtly the same time, Turkey’s Minister of Labor went one step further, and accused America of being behind the coup on live Television, as it was harboring Gulen.
BREAKING: Secretary of Labor Süleyman Soylu live on news channel Haberturk: “The US is behind this coup” pic.twitter.com/khqdbUw7re
— Turkey Untold (@TurkeyUntold) July 16, 2016
To be sure, as we wrote first thing this morning, Gulen, who is currently residing in Saylorsburg, Peynnsylvania, said he condemned the coup “in the strongest terms.”
Gulen, as those who have followed recent Turkish history know, is Erdogan’s quasi-imaginary bogeyman nemesis; Erdogan has repeatedly accused Gulen of plotting a “parallel state” whose intention is to overthrow Erdogan, and has used that strawman narrative as justification to expand his powers and to push for a shift from a parliamentary to a presidential regime. Gulen wrote in his blog that “As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused …