U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, said President Erdogan would not accept any message from him. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, said Turkish President Tayipp Erdogan would accept no messages from him, even though he prays for Erdogan. "I'm not sure President Erdogan would accept my message even if I were to send him the best of the best message," he said. "But, I have always prayed for myself and for him," he told reporters. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday (July 16) the United States had not received any request to extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, but was willing to assist in legitimate efforts to deal with plotters of Turkey's attempted coup. The Turkish government said followers of Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for years, were behind the attempted coup by a faction of the military on Friday. Gulen has denied playing any role in the attempted coup, which he condemned in a written statement. A successful overthrow of Erdogan would have marked one of the biggest shifts in the Middle East in years, transforming a major U.S. ally while war rages on its border. A failed coup could still destabilize a NATO member that lies between the European Union and the chaos of Syria, with Islamic State bombers targeting Turkish cities and the government also at war with Kurdish separatists.