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Analysts Predict Rifts in US-Turkey Relationship

By Joe Gould

...Inside Turkey, an anti-American backlash has already started, including statements from Turkish officials blaming the US and questioning Kerry’s initial statement about about the coup attempt, which could be read as ambiguous, said Eric Edelman, former US ambassador to Turkey and former undersecretary of defense for policy. He described Kerry and the Obama administration as “badly stung by the level of anti-american rhetoric.” “We are in for a very bumpy period in US-Turkey relations,” Edelman said. “The bar to extradite Gulen needs to be very high, and if we don’t return him, I think we can count on some problems, perhaps threats of loss of access to Incirlik.” Following the coup attempt, air space above Incirlik was closed temporarily and the base commander arrested for complicity in the failed coup, “but it also sent a message that access to Incirlik is something the government grants us, not a right,” Edelman said…

...Edelman and Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and Middle East scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, suggested the US government seek such alternatives. Rubin called Turkey’s calls for Gulen’s extradition “blackmail” and called for a hard line against it and the counter-coup’s targeting of teachers and reporters...

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