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  1. #1
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    Klondyke's Avatar
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    Turkey summons US diplomat in escalating visa spat

    (Cannot find it on rt, so perhaps CNN is not so bad?)

    (CNN)The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned the US embassy's deputy chief in an escalating diplomatic row that has put both nations' visa services on ice.


    State-run news agency Anadolu reported that the Foreign Ministry planned to tell Philip Kosnett of the US mission in Ankara that they expected the US to lift its visa suspension, which affects all non-immigrant visa services in the country.
    The latest tit-for-tat between Ankara and Washington began last week, when a staff member from the US consulate in Istanbul was arrested.
    Washington responded with the visa freeze and Ankara responded by doing the same.


    Another US consular employee sought

    State media named locally-hired Metin Topuz as the staff member arrested last week.
    He is the second US consular staff member to be detained this year.
    Topuz was charged for having links with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania.

    Gulen is considered the main adversary of Erdogan -- the president blames the cleric for orchestrating an attempted military coup last year. Gulen has denied involvement in the coup.

    The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office said in a statement published by Anadolu on Monday that a third US consular staff member was being sought for questioning.

    That staff member's wife and adult child have already been arrested over alleged connections to the Gulen movement, the statement said. Prosecutors said they were led to the pair after interrogating Topuz.

    Ankara has repeatedly pressured Washington to extradite Gulen since the coup, and the issue has become a major thorn in relations between the on-again-off-again allies.

    Turkey has carried out a widespread purge since the failed coup, detaining tens of thousands of people it accuses of having links to Gulen, including several non-diplomatic US citizens.

    NASA physicist Serkan Golge and American pastor Andrew Brunson are among them.

    In February, another US consular staff member, Hamza Ulucay, was arrested over alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which both Turkey and the US consider a terrorist organization. Ulucay, a translator, was released and then re-arrested in March.

    Turkey summons US diplomat in tense visa spat - CNNPolitics

  2. #2
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    Turkey's Erdogan blames U.S. envoy for diplomatic crisis

    ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan blamed the U.S. ambassador to Turkey on Tuesday for a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and said Ankara no longer considered him Washington’s envoy.

    In a blunt and personal attack on outgoing Ambassador John Bass, Erdogan suggested Bass acted unilaterally in suspending visa services in Turkey after the arrest of a U.S. consulate worker, and said “agents” had infiltrated U.S. missions.

    The U.S. State Department defended Bass, saying he had the “full backing” of the U.S. government and his actions were coordinated with the State Department, White House and National Security Council.

    “Our ambassadors tend not to do things unilaterally,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing. “We have a very close coordination and cooperation with our ambassadors,” she added, saying Bass had done “a terrific job in Turkey.”

    The dispute has plunged already fragile relations between the two NATO allies to a new low after months of tension linked to the conflict in Syria, last year’s failed military coup in Turkey, and U.S. court cases against Turkish officials.

    The U.S. embassy said on Sunday night it was suspending visa services while it assessed Turkey’s commitment to the safety of its missions and its staff, a message reiterated in a video released by Bass late on Monday.

    “An ambassador in Ankara taking decisions and saying he is doing so in the name of his government is strange,” Erdogan said. “If our ambassador did this, we wouldn’t keep him there even a minute.”

    The embassy said allegations that the arrested employee had links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric blamed by Ankara for orchestrating the failed coup against Erdogan last year, were baseless.

    Nauert said Turkey, which has arrested two local U.S. embassy staff members this year, summoned a third local staff member for questioning over the weekend, a “deeply disturbing” move. Some of those targeted were responsible for law enforcement coordination between the countries, she said.

    “Being able to have close security cooperation, especially with a NATO partner, is incredibly important,” Nauert said. “And when they start arresting, detaining our people, our people who are responsible for law enforcement coordination, that is a ... major concern of ours. And so that is why we took these steps.”

    But Erdogan said the arrest, and a police request to question a second consulate employee, showed “there is something cooking in the U.S. consulate in Istanbul ... How did these agents infiltrate the U.S. consulate?”

    He said Bass, who is due to leave the country within days to take up a posting in Afghanistan, had been making farewell visits to government offices.

    “But our ministers, parliament speaker and myself did not accept and will not accept his request because we do not see him as a representative of the United States,” Erdogan told a televised news conference during a visit to Belgrade.

    Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the visa suspension had punished citizens of both countries, and accused Washington of taking an emotional and inappropriate step against an ally.

    “You are making your citizens and ours pay the price,” he said. “We call on the United States to be more reasonable. The issue must of course be resolved as soon as possible,” he said, describing U.S. behavior as “unbecoming” of an ally.

    In a speech in Ankara to ruling AK Party parliamentarians, Yildirim also defended Turkey’s decision to retaliate with its own visa suspension after the U.S. embassy announcement.

    “Turkey is not a tribal state, we will retaliate against what has been done in kind,” he said.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1CF0XR

  3. #3
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    “An ambassador in Ankara taking decisions and saying he is doing so in the name of his government is strange,” Erdogan said. “If our ambassador did this, we wouldn’t keep him there even a minute.”
    Obviously the fuckwit doesn't realise that the ambassador is doing exactly what his country has ordered.

    Or he's doing an orange cunto and preaching to his choir of deplorables.

  4. #4
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    Repeating a joke (not invented by myself):
    Conundrum: Why an "orange" revolution cannot happen in the USA?

    There is no US Embassy in USA

  5. #5
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    There is an Orange County ^

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    US Calls for Evidence in Turkey's Detention of US Citizens, US-hired Staff



    STATE DEPARTMENT —
    The United States is asking the Turkish government to present evidence to back up its accusations used to justify the detention of locally-employed U.S. consulate members and several American citizens, including jailed American pastor Andrew Brunson.


    "We would call upon the government of Turkey to please provide us that evidence, if there is evidence, that they were involved in what Turkey alleges, and that is terrorism," said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Thursday.


    She told reporters the U.S. has "not seen any evidence" to that effect and called on Ankara to fulfill its pledge to allow access for the detained to see their lawyers.


    On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, conveying Washington's "profound concern" over the detentions. It is the second phone call in less than a week between the top diplomats of two NATO allies.




    Relations between Turkey and the U.S. are deeply strained following last week's arrest of local U.S. consulate employee Metin Topuz on terrorism and espionage charges, in relation to a failed coup staged last year against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both countries have severely restricted the issuance of non-immigrant visas.


    Washington's suspicions are growing that the detention of local staffers could be politically driven.


    Detained Americans


    Meanwhile, about a dozen U.S. citizens have been held in connection with last year's failed coup, including Brunson, who has been in jail without being charged for about a year.


    "It is something that we follow extremely closely. We would like to see Pastor Brunson brought home," Nauert said Thursday. "That's one of the issues that is consistently brought up, the safety, the welfare, the well-being of the American pastor, Pastor Brunson."

    Andrew Brunson, an American who has been a Protestant missionary in Turkey for more than 20 years, is shown with his wife, Norine Brunson, in this undated photo.

    Tillerson raised Brunson's case over the weekend in his phone call with Cavusoglu, according to the State Department.


    Erdogan had said that if the U.S. wants Brunson freed, it should extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for last year's failed coup attempt.


    While Washington and Ankara agreed the two sides would remain in close contact to calm the escalated tension, there appeared to be little sign of a quick resolution to the diplomatic dispute.


    Erdogan: US 'sacrificing' ties with Turkey


    On Thursday, Erdogan said the United States is "sacrificing" ties between the two allies.


    "It is unacceptable for America to sacrifice a strategic partner like Turkey for an impertinent ambassador," Erdogan said, referring to Washington's ambassador to Ankara John Bass, who is due to leave his post later this week for a new assignment in Afghanistan.

    Following Topuz's arrest, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced it would temporarily halt all non-immigrant visa applications — a move that was quickly mirrored by Turkey.


    Erdogan blamed Bass for the tensions, having declared that the ambassador would no longer be considered Washington's legitimate representative.


    But Washington has strongly backed the American ambassador's actions, reiterating its criticism of the detention of its local employee. Observers suggest the move has closed the door to Ankara's hopes of ending the crisis by blaming it on Bass, rather than Washington.


    "We're actually quite surprised by the United States State Department response to what would be considered as a routine investigation," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said during a visit to Washington on Wednesday.


    "We think the reaction is out of context and we hope that pretty soon this issue will be resolved," Simsek said. "U.S. and Turkey have been friends, allies, partners, for over half a century. And that relationship, this partnership, I think, is strong enough to weather such crisis."


    https://www.voanews.com/a/us-calls-f...f/4068118.html
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  7. #7
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    "...the U.S. has "not seen any evidence..."
    Never mind the "evidence". Sanctions can be imposed - as usually is the case...
    (Wondering: have sanctions ever been imposed to USA?)

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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  9. #9
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    Assuming that USA is suffering a lot under those sanctions (especially their leaders).

    However, other countries will be happy to jump on a bandwagon with the tuna (similarly like the Yingluck's rice export stop)...

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