Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Turkey hopes for quick normalization of soured bilateral ties with US

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan review guard of honour during a ceremony before their meeting in Kyiv,Ukraine Turkey hopes for quick normalization of soured bilateral ties with US
Saul Franklin | 12 October, 2017, 00:59

He said the embassy had been unable to learn the reasons for the arrest of a Turkish staff member last week and or what evidence exists against the employee.

But after two days of acrimonious broadsides from Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had earlier today struck a more conciliatory tone.

The US and Turkey on Sunday indefinitely halted all non-immigrant visa services to each other's citizens amid deepening differences between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Erdogan, however, said the meeting would not be held.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the USA decision as "upsetting", saying Turkey's response is "based on the rules of reciprocity".

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But the State Department said that Bass had been operating with the full authority of the U.S. government. Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported that he allegedly communicated with former police chiefs in a 2013 corruption probe, 121 people involved in the attempted coup and hundreds of people using an encrypted mobile messaging application.

"Sandzak is one of the bridges that connect us", Erdogan said in a speech translated from Turkish into Serbian and aired on Serbian state TV.

The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a U.S. consulate worker in Istanbul who was accused of suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, who is a Pennsylvania-based cleric blacklisted by Ankara for orchestrating last year's failed coup in Turkey.

Washington has dismissed claims it was involved as a ludicrous conspiracy theory and Gulen himself denies any link to the plot.

US pastor Andrew Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for over 20 years, has also been behind bars for a year for alleged links to Gulen.

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