July 18, 2016 / 2:58 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. envoy to Ankara rejects suggestions U.S. backed abortive coup in Turkey

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, said on Monday media reports and comments by public figures that Washington backed an attempted coup were “categorically untrue” and such speculation harmed the NATO allies’ friendship.

President Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish officials have blamed the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennyslvania in self-imposed exile, of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt that killed more than 200 people.

Bass said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website that the United States was willing to provide assistance in Turkey’s investigation of the abortive coup and would consider any extradition request if it met legal requirements.

Turkey’s labor minister and other prominent figures have said the United States “authored” the intervention by a faction within the Turkish armed forces.

Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Gareth Jones

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