The U.S. ambassador to Turkey denied any American role in an attempted coup there, saying Monday that speculation to that effect was "categorically untrue."
Tensions between the two countries have escalated since members of the Turkish military tried and failed to seize power on Friday. Turkey's Labor Minister Suleyman Soylu has suggested Washington was behind the plot.
"Some news reports — and, unfortunately, some public figures — have speculated that the United States in some way supported the coup attempt," Ambassador John Bass said in a statement Monday. "This is categorically untrue."
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Central to the friction between Washington and Ankara is Fetullah Gulen, a cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed for orchestrating the putsch, NBC News reported.
Gulen denies the charges — even raising the possibility the coup attempt may have been staged, but Erdogan has demanded his extradition from the U.S.