First Published: 2017-10-12

Erdogan blames US for 'sacrificing' relations with Turkey
Spate of issues have raised tensions between Turkey and administration of US President Trump despite hopes of new page in relations.
Middle East Online

Erdogan urged US authorities to display common sense as spat continues.

ANKARA - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said the US was in danger of "sacrificing" its relations with Turkey, as he blamed the American envoy to Ankara for the crisis in relations between the NATO allies.

"It is the ambassador here who caused this," Erdogan told a meeting in Ankara, referring to the outgoing US envoy in Turkey, John Bass.

"It is unacceptable for the United States to sacrifice its strategic partner like Turkey for a presumptuous ambassador," he said.

The dispute erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the US consulate in Istanbul on suspicion of links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim preacher who Ankara blames for last year's failed coup.

In response, Washington halted issuing non-immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the US to hit back with a tit-for-tat move.

Although Turkish officials blamed the ambassador for the spat, the State Department said Bass had been operating with the full authority of the US government.

Bass is due to leave Turkey at the weekend after he was named the US envoy to Afghanistan earlier this year.

"If the giant America is ruled by an ambassador in Ankara, what a shame," Erdogan said.

On Monday, Turkish prosecutors summoned another local employee working at the US consulate in Istanbul.

Erdogan on Thursday claimed that he was hiding in the consulate, but Bass had denied this the day before, telling reporters: "No one's hiding at any of our facilities."

Turkish authorities this week detained his wife, his son and his daughter.

Ankara wanted to open a new page in relations with the US under President Donald Trump but a spate of issues have raised tensions, including the US refusal to extradite Gulen and American support for Kurdish militias in Syria.

Erdogan said the US response to the arrest of the consulate employee was "unfair" and "disproportionate", and urged for common sense.

 

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

US declares readiness to talk Mideast peace

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Russia denies Ďgroundlessí accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus

PKK attack near Iraq kills 2 Turkish soldiers

Netanyahu confidant to testify against him

Iran emergency teams recover bodies from plane crash site

Ten dead in more Syrian regime strikes on East Ghouta

Bahrain activist sentenced to 5 years for Yemen tweets

Lebanese president makes landmark visit to Iraq

Bloodbath in Syria's eastern Ghouta

Abbas calls for peace conference in rare UN speech

Egyptian court adds leading government critic on terror list

Yemen government offensive threatens heritage site

Turkey considering chemical castration for child abusers

45 civilians killed in air strikes on rebel enclave

Cairo sheds Ottoman-era street names amid Egypt-Turkey crisis

New woes for Israeli PM in fresh graft cases

Maghreb countries wary about jihadists relocating from Iraq, Syria

Erdogan says Turkey will besiege Afrin "swiftly"

Turkey releases leading pro-Kurdish politician

5 Iranian police killed in Sufi protests

Iran finds wreckage of crashed plane on top of mountain

Israelís gas contract with Egypt: deal or no deal?

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

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

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

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