Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced yesterday that the Turkish authorities had confessions taken from putschists that the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen was the mastermind behind the failed coup attempt, AFP reported.
Yildirim said that many of the putschists confessed that the "Imam of the Universe" who is living in a self-imposed exile in the United States spearheaded the coup. He called on the US to extradite him.
He said he was surprised that the US had requested proof of Gulen's involvement in the coup, noting that Washington is a "strategic" ally. "I say to them that your request to have proof of Gulen's involvement [in the coup] is regrettable."
Speaking during a press conference, Yildirim reiterated that the government would differentiate between the putschists and the army.
"The army has nothing to do with those whose hands were tainted with blood," he said, "we do not have to mix between the Turkish armed forced, our soldiers and officers and those tyrants."