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".

 

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery