Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a group of regional governors that Turkey no longer needs the U.S. as diplomatic tensions with the NATO ally grow more intense.
October 13, 2017
The divorce is nearly over—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday his country no longer needs the U.S.
Blaming U.S. Ambassador John Bass—an Obama appointee who President Donald Trump has tapped to be Ambassador to Afghanistan—for the current diplomatic standoff, the Turkish leader told a group of regional governors:
“We are not a tribal state. We are the state of the Republic of Turkey and you will accept it. If you don’t, then sorry but we do not need you.
The decision taken by the U.S. Consulate and the statements made after it are not related to the truth or reality. A junta within the American bureaucracy that is related to the previous administration aims to sabotage relations between the new administration and Turkey.”
Erdogan made similar statements about the European Union recently, and has been building a warmer relationship with Russia and Iran, as well. Turkey is a NATO ally of the U.S.
The president is incensed by the U.S. decision to stop issuing non-immigrant visas in Turkey in the wake of his government’s arrest of consulate worker Metin Topuz. Ankara accuses him of taking part in the plot to overthrow the government in July of 2016.
State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert, however, said the decision for visa suspension was taken in coordination with the department, the White House and the National Security Council. Turkey has imposed a reciprocal arrangement with entry visas for Americans.