First Published: 2017-10-10

Turkish officials to boycott US ambassador to Turkey
Ankara says it no longer recognises US ambassador as dispute rages over arrest of Turkish employee at the American consulate in Istanbul.
Middle East Online

It is unprecedented for Ankara to say it no longer recognizes Washington's ambassador.

ANKARA - Turkey will boycott meetings with the US ambassador to Ankara as it no longer recognises the envoy as the US representative in the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, stepping up a diplomatic row.

"We have not agreed and are not agreeing to this ambassador making farewell visits with ministers, the parliament speaker and myself," Erdogan said of US ambassador John Bass, who is shortly to leave Turkey after being nominated the US envoy to Afghanistan.

"We do not see him as the representative of the United States in Turkey," he said at a news conference with President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.

It is traditional for outgoing envoys in Turkey to make valedictory visits to bid farewell to top officials before leaving their posts.

Although Bass is expected to leave Turkey in the coming days, it is unprecedented in the history of Turkish-US relations for Ankara to say it no longer recognises Washington's ambassador.

The dispute erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate on suspicion of links to the group blamed for last year's failed coup.

In response, the United States stopped issuing non-immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the United States to hit back with a tit-for-tat step of their own.

Erdogan said the arrest, based on evidence found by the police, shows "something is going on at the Istanbul consulate."

"The US should evaluate one thing: how did those agents leak into the consulate?" Erdogan asked.

"If they did not (put them there), then who put them there? No state would allow such agents to pose such a threat."

The US embassy has dismissed the allegations against the consulate staffer as "baseless".

 

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

Iraq orders deportation of French jihadist

Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon

Iran's supreme leader says progress needed on justice

Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey

Netanyahu warns Iran, brandishes piece of metal

66 feared dead as plane crashes in Iranian mountains

Saudi women to open businesses without male permission

Netanyahu slams 'outrageous' Holocaust remark by Polish PM

Israeli air strikes kill 2 in Gaza

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant