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U.S. case against banker is "political coup attempt", Turkey's Erdogan says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint press conference with the French president at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

(reuters_tickers)

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday condemned a U.S. sanctions-busting case against a Turkish bank executive as a "political coup attempt" and a joint effort by the CIA and FBI to undermine Ankara.

A U.S. jury last week convicted the executive of Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank of evading Iran sanctions, capping a trial that has strained relations between the NATO allies.

Erdogan, speaking to members of his ruling AK Party in parliament, said the CIA, the FBI and the network of the U.S.-based cleric Turkey blames for a 2016 coup were together using the case to undermine Ankara.

(Reporting by Ercan Gurses; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by David Dolan)

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