Ambassador denies US aided Turkey's coup plotters

Ambassador denies US aided Turkey's coup plotters
2 min read
06 August, 2016
US ambassador to Turkey John Bass said his country played no role in July's coup attempt against the government in Ankara.
Ambassador Bass said there are no US links to Turkey coup attempt [Anadolu]

The United States' ambassador to Turkey has denied claims that Washington aided coup plotters last month.

John Bass' comments comes after repeated claims that the US played some role in July's failed coup attempt against the Turkish government.

Ankara has officially blamed US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen for the coup attempt, and demanded that Washington hand him over to Turkish authorities.

Tens of thousands of Gulen-linked suspects have been arrested or dismissed from their jobs, in the latest purge of government critics.

"I just want to say again - as I've said before and as we've said from Washington - the United States government did not plan, direct, support or have any advance knowledge of any of the illegal activities that occurred the night of July 15 and into July 16. Full stop," US ambassador John Bass said in remarks published in English daily Hurriyet Daily News.

He said he was "deeply disturbed and offended by the accusations" targeting his country.

Turkey's actions post-coup attempt have rattled relations with its NATO allies, the US and the European Union.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the West of supporting the plotters and warned Washington that relations will suffer if it fails to extradite Pennyslvania-based Gulen.

He described the coup plot as a "scenario written from outside".

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Shortly after the coup attempt, Labour Minister Suleyman Soylu went even further to say "the United States is behind the coup."

Turkey's former army chief, Ilker Basbug, has also claimed of a CIA link.

"Frankly, if we would have had knowledge we would have told the Turkish government about it immediately," Bass said.

He said the US wants to see a "strong, prosperous, democratic, confident Turkey.

"Anyone who thinks that the United States somehow profits from Turkey being divided and destabilised I think is misreading history to a profound degree."

Bass first rebuked allegations of US involvement in the putsch, three days after the failed coup.

"This is categorically untrue, and such speculation is harmful to the decades-long friendship between two great nations," he said in a statement on the embassy website.