US President Barack Obama seen at a joint news 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 the United States 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 United States 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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