President Barack Obama says US had no prior intelligence about Turkey’s coup

July 22, 2016 9:00 pm

seen at
a joint conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (not
pictured) at the White House in Washington,DC on July 22, 2016. (AFP
photo)

President Barack Obama says
had no prior knowledge about or involvement in last
week’s attempted coup in Turkey.

“Any reports that we had
any previous knowledge of a coup attempt, that there was any US
involvement in it, that we were anything other than entirely supportive
of Turkish democracy, are completely false,” Obama said at a joint press
conference at the White House with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto
on Friday.
He said that such rumors would harm diplomatic relations between Washington and Ankara.
“When
rumors like that start swirling around, that puts our people at risk on
the ground in Turkey, and it threatens what is a critical alliance and
partnership between the and Turkey,” the president said.
“I want to be as clear and unequivocal as I can be: We deplore the attempted coup,” he added.
On
July 15, a faction of the Turkish military declared it was in control
of the country and the government was no more in charge.
Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers then clashed with police and people on the streets of the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul.
More than 300 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d’état that was gradually suppressed.

Tanks move into position as Turkish people attempt to stop them, in Ankara, Turkey, July 15, 2016. (AP)Following
the coup, Turkey asked the US to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish
cleric whom Ankara routinely blames for woes inside Turkey, including
the recent coup attempt.
On Friday, Obama said that Turkey needs
to present “evidence” of Gulen’s involvement in the putsch and that his
extradition would be handled in accordance with US law.
“They
should present us with evidence that they think indicates the
involvement of Mr. Gulen or anybody else who is here in the United
States, and it would be processed the way that it is always processed
and that we would certainly take any allegations like this seriously.”
“We would certainly take any allegations like this seriously,” Obama added.

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