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US had no prior intelligence about Turkey Coup, says Obama

BERLIN: President Barack Obama on Friday flatly rejected reports that the United States had prior intelligence about or was involved in last week’s coup attempt in Turkey, calling such suggestions “unequivocally false.”

Obama also told reporters that Turkey’s request for the extradition of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen — blamed by Erdogan for the deadly unrest — would be handled in accordance with US law and that “evidence” of wrongdoing by Gulen would be taken seriously.

“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. Unequivocally false,” Obama said.

Obama said that in order for the United States to consider extraditing Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, Turkey would have to provide evidence he was involved in last week’s attempted coup.

Obama said he had spoken with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said as much to him.

“We would certainly take any allegations like this seriously,” Obama said. – AFP