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Turkey blames USA envoy for souring ties; won't buy U.S. guns

13 October 2017
Turkey blames USA envoy for souring ties; won't buy U.S. guns

"We are not a tribal state, we're not dependent on you", Erdogan said. "If you don't, then sorry but we do not need you", Erdoğan said, amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis over visas between Ankara and Washington, Hurriyet Daily reported.

The strained relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies escalated last week after Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the United States consulate on suspicion of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

"What a shame if the great United States of America is being governed by an ambassador in Ankara".

Simsek's remarks contrasted with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's statements on Tuesday that "agents" had infiltrated U.S. missions in Turkey and that Ankara no longer recognised U.S. ambassador John Bass as a legitimate envoy.

"The decision taken by the U.S. Consulate and the statements made after it are not related to the truth or reality".

Turkey's ties with the US have frayed since the failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016. "It is unacceptable for the U.S.to sacrifice a strategic partnership for an impertinent ambassador who doesn't know his place", Erdogan told at a provincial governors' meeting in Ankara.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Turkey's foreign minister that the Trump administration is profoundly "concerned" about the detention of US citizens and the arrest of local Turkish consular employees, the State Department said. "They should have said, 'You cannot treat my strategic ally this way, you cannot act this way.' But they couldn't say this", he said.

The US mission in Turkey announced on Sunday that it had stopped all non-immigrant visa services amid concerns over "the security of US mission and (its) personnel". Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters terrorists.

"Our wish for our interlocutors to return to reason and calm, abandoning steps that would harm our friendship and alliance", he said.

"We don't want this dispute to last more than a second", Simsek said of the current visa spat at a briefing on US business opportunities in Turkey at the US Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

Turkey's ties with the US have frayed since the failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016.

President Erdoğan also referred to ongoing disputes between Ankara and Washington regarding the case of Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab, now facing trial in the USA on charges of violating sanctions on Iran, in a case that has also embroiled former minister Zafer Çağlayan and state-run Halkbank deputy general manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla.

"On one hand you say you are the mainland of democracy but on the other hand you defend, in your own terms, the rights of an individual related to FETÖ who has no diplomatic qualification in your consulate". "If the ambassador acted on his own, then the USA administration should not keep him there for a minute". "Is this justice?" Erdoğan added.