Members of Patriotic Party shout slogans and hold banners in Ankara of Aug. 1, 2016 during a protest against the visit of American General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff. / AFP / ADEM ALTAN
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President Tayyip Erdogan accused the West of supporting terrorism and standing by coups Tuesday, questioning Turkey's relationship with the United States and saying the "script" for an abortive putsch last month was "written abroad".In a combative speech at his palace in Ankara, Erdogan said charter schools in the United States were the main source of income for the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who he says masterminded the bloody July 15 putsch. Erdogan and many Turks have been frustrated by U.S. and European criticism of a crackdown in the wake of the putsch, accusing the West of greater concern about the rights of the plotters than the gravity of the threat to a NATO member state.Erdogan has issued two decrees dismissing around 3,000 members of NATO's second-biggest armed forces since the coup, including more than 40 percent of generals.Erdogan also pledged to strengthen Turkey's intelligence agencies and flush out the influence of Gulen, whose grip on the security apparatus he blamed for the lack of intelligence in the run-up to the coup. The MIT intelligence agency has already suspended 100 staff and Erdogan has suggested bringing it under the control of the presidency.
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