The U.S. on Tuesday offered condolences for the victims of the July 15 coup attempt in a belated move that took place a day after Turkey commemorated the third anniversary of the defeated putsch.
"The United States offers its deepest condolences to the friends and loved ones of those injured or killed during the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey," a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Anadolu Agency (AA) in a statement. The defeated coup attempt "was an attack on democracy and a stark reminder that the preservation of democracy requires perseverance and safeguards for fundamental freedoms," said the statement.
"The United States affirms our steadfast support for the Turkish people and their democratic institutions," read the statement.
The Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
This belated move by the U.S. is not a new phenomenon for the country's approach to the July 15 coup attempt. The U.S threw its weight behind Turkey three hours after the coup was first initiated back in 2016, when it was announced that an attempt to overthrow the government had been launched, with former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visiting Turkey more than a month later. In a press conference with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Biden apologized for the delayed visit and said he had wished to come earlier.
Erdoğan also had a phone conversation with former U.S. President Barack Obama on July 19. Obama condemned the coup attempt to overthrow a democratically elected government and expressed his support for democracy in Turkey.
The United States, where FETÖ's fugitive head resides, is the recipient of most extradition requests. Turkey has sent seven extradition requests for Gülen to Washington so far, but unfortunately, has seen little progress.