Erdogan Slams U.S. General over Post-Coup Bid Comments

Ankara, - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday slammed the U.S. Central Command chief over his remarks following the July 15 failed coup attempt.

Speaking on Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum, a think tank in Colorado, Gen. Joseph Votel said: "We have certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders - military leaders in particular.

"I am concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue," he said.

Votel was referring to some Turkish officers - now in jail - for their role in the coup attempt.

He voiced concerns that in the long run the coup and Ankara's efforts to clear the military of coup supporters would have an effect on U.S. operations in the region.

"I am concerned that it will impact the level of cooperation and collaboration that we have with Turkey which has been excellent frankly," Votel said.

In response, Erdogan lashed out at Votel, saying the U.S. general was not in a position to make such comments and meddle in the internal affairs of Turkey.

"Are you the one to decide on this imprisonment? Who are you? You have got to know your place," Erdogan told a news conference Friday following a visit to the Police Department of Special Operations in Ankara, which was heavily attacked during the coup attempt.

"Instead of thanking this government for thwarting this coup attempt, and for maintaining democracy, you are standing by the putschists," Erdogan said.

The president also slammed Washington for harboring the US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of being the mastermind of the deadly coup plot.

Source: Qatar News Agency