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Coup row haunts Turkish-US ties

Amid an already frosty start with the new US administration, Ankara has renewed accusations that Washington was behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
A photograph taken on July 15, 2020 shows the July 15 Monument, in Ankara, during the July 15 Democracy and National Unity Day's events held to mark the fourth anniversary of the failed coup. - A photograph taken on July 15, 2020 shows the (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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A senior Turkish minister has rekindled accusations of US involvement in the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey even as Ankara is trying to mollify Washington over its purchase of Russian missiles and avoid more sanctions under President Joe Biden. Fence-mending remains a distant goal with the Turkish public still largely convinced that Washington was behind the putsch.

Rogue officers accused of having links to US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, an ally-turned-foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commandeered warplanes and tanks July 15, 2016, in a bid to topple the government. Some 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 wounded before the government suppressed the uprising the following day. Squabbles over the coup, coupled with US support for Syrian Kurdish militias seen as terrorists by Ankara, opened a major rift between the two NATO allies, leading Turkey to move closer to Russia. Ankara has repeatedly criticized Washington for failing to extradite Gulen, having designated his extensive network of followers as a terrorist group, known by the acronym FETO.

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