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President Erdogan says US must choose: 'FETO or Turkey'

August 11, 2016 at 11:45 am

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday gave the U.S. an ultimatum following Ankara’s repeated requests for the extradition of US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, accused of orchestrating the July 15 defeated coup.

“Sooner or later the U.S will make a choice. Either Turkey or FETO,” Erdogan said.

“Either the coup-plotting terrorist FETO or the democratic country Turkey. It has to make this choice,” he said, referring to the Gulen-led Fetullah Terrorist Organization that Ankara says mounted the bloody coup attempt through rogue elements within the military.

The president’s remarks came as he addressed a mass crowd in front of the Presidential Palace in the capital – one location attacked on the night of the coup attempt.

The gathering in Ankara was the last night of daily pro-democracy rallies which has been held since July 15, Erdogan announced.

The daily gatherings, which have attracted hundreds of thousands wishing to show their opposition to the foiled July 15 coup, culminated Sunday in a rally in Istanbul that 5 million people are thought to have attended, according to local officials.

Erdogan warned citizens, however, to stay constantly vigilant as “betrayal can come from anywhere and anyone.

“We want to finalize it here [Ankara]. But, I see that our people do not want to leave the squares,” he said.

“Democracy watch cannot be only kept in certain hours, in certain places,” he added, and called on Turks to protect “democracy, freedom, the state, and the future” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Turkish president once more suggested he sees no difference between terrorist groups such as the PKK, Daesh and U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen’s FETO.

He stressed his “one nation, one flag, one homeland, and one state” slogan.