WASHINGTON - Turkish Daily News
The United States made it clear Monday that it wanted to stay out of a public debate on a police investigation into an alleged coup attempt in Turkey, saying that the recent arrests of prominent ex-generals under the probe were the NATO ally's internal matter. "This is a matter for the Turkish government to comment on. It's internal to Turkey," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters when asked to comment on the arrests within the past week of several people accused of involvement in the alleged coup plot.Those arrested include two top former generals and a leading businessman.McCormack recalled that in a simultaneous development in Turkey, the Constitutional Court was considering a ban on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, on charges of undermining the secular regime."There are many questions in the Turkish courts these days and we are fully confident in Turkish democracy in being able to resolve these within the confines of Turkish law and its Constitution," he said.
Two cases dealt with separately:
The United States makes a distinction between the two cases: While it shows little interest in commenting publicly on the alleged coup attempt, it opposes, in diplomatic terms, the AKP's closure.Matt Bryza, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, recently said that a ban on the AKP would be "unfortunate."The Constitutional Court is expected to announce its verdict within the next several weeks.White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, when asked to comment late last week if President George W. Bush was concerned over the possibility of a coup in Turkey, said, "He wants to make sure that democracy is firm in that country."Also Tom Casey, another State Department spokesman, has said that the alleged coup plot probe and related detentions were "a law enforcement matter."