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We didn't do it: US reacts to Turkish coup Open in fullscreen

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We didn't do it: US reacts to Turkish coup

Washington says it had no knowledge of the foiled coup [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 July, 2016

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On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Washington had had no idea that a coup attempt was brewing in NATO ally Turkey before Friday's bloody events
The wording of a message from the US embassy in Turkey to American nationals in the country during the armed mutiny on Friday has drawn accusations of US endorsement of the now-failed coup, but US Secretary of State John Kerry has denied foreknowledge of the event.

The US embassy message initially described the event as an "uprising", prompting some to jump to conclusions and conspiracy theories regarding alleged US involvement.

The speculation was also fuelled by alleged US support for previous coups, and the initial US silence on the events in Turkey, before Washington determined the coup was going to fail and expressed its support for the elected government hours later.

But on Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Washington had had no idea that a coup attempt was brewing in NATO ally Turkey before Friday's bloody events.

He added that the failed putsch had apparently been incompetently executed, and restated Washington's support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's elected government.

"If you're planning a coup you don't exactly advertise it to your partners in NATO," Kerry told reporters who asked how US intelligence could have been surprised by events.

"It surprised everybody, including the people in Turkey," the top US diplomat added, speaking in Luxembourg during a diplomatic tour of European capitals.

"I must say, it does not appear to have been a very brilliantly planned or executed event, but let's reserve all judgment until the facts are in."

Kerry also said the United States would entertain an extradition request for exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey's president blames for the failed coup.

The United States would entertain an extradition request for exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey's president blames for the failed coup

But Kerry adds Turkey's government would have to present evidence of Gulen's wrongdoing that withstands scrutiny.

Turkey hasn't yet made a request to send the Pennsylvania-based Gulen home, he added. But he said he anticipates questions about Gulen, who has condemned the coup.

The US is opposed to any attempt to overthrow a democratically elected leader, and change must come through a constitutional process, Kerry also said in his remarks.

In Washington, US President Barack Obama is reportedly convening his National Security Council later on Saturday following the attempted coup d'etat in Turkey overnight, officials said.

"The president will convene a meeting with his national security and broader foreign policy team to update him on the situation in Turkey," the White House said in a statement.

The Turkish authorities said they had regained control of the country on Saturday after thwarting the coup attempt by discontented soldiers to seize power from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that claimed more than 250 lives.

The Turkish authorities said they had regained control of the country on Saturday after thwarting the coup attempt by discontented soldiers

The United States and Turkey are close military allies within NATO and US warplanes targeting Islamic State fly out of the major Incirlik air base.

According to the US consulate, the Turkish authorities on Saturday imposed a security lockdown at the air base in the southern province of Adana.

"Local authorities are denying movements on to and off of Incirlik Air Base. The power there has also been cut," the US consulate in Adana said in a message.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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