American officials are pushing back against suggestions the U.S. is connected to a political movement the Turkish president blames for the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday claimed loyalists of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in Pennsylvania, are responsible for Monday’s slaying of Ambassador Andrey Karlov at an Ankara art gallery, Reuters reported.
Secretary of State John Kerry has raised concerns about the overall “rhetoric coming out of Turkey” about U.S. involvement in the killing, State Department spokesman John Kirby later told reporters.
“It’s a ludicrous claim, absolutely false, there’s no basis of truth in it whatsoever,” Kirby said of rhetoric suggesting the U.S. supported the assassination “because of the presence of Mr. Gulen here in the United States.”
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