Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Turkey calls on U.S. to not 'sacrifice' partnership

Turkey calls on U.S. to not 'sacrifice' partnership

The U.S. Embassy last week announced the suspension of non-immigration visas for Turkish nationals following the arrest of a Turkish employee at the U.S. Istanbul Consulate, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on a visit to Washington that Turkey is "safeguarding" the USA employees and "we don't want this dispute to last more than a second". It is unacceptable for the U.S.to sacrifice Turkey's strategic partnership for an impertinent ambassador.

He also said a U.S. consulate employee arrested in Turkey had not demanded lawyer access and the USA mission could apply to send a lawyer to see him.

Ambassador John Bass told reporters the embassy hasn't received evidence supporting the allegations.

"Talks between the foreign minister and (U.S. Secretary of State) Tillerson were very constructive". He also emphasized the importance of transparency and the need for the evidence behind the accusations to be known, Nauert said.

ESPN Soccer Pundit Rips Into USA!
Soccer president Sunil Gulati is also likely on the hot seat, but like Arena, he does not feel major changes are needed. When soccer holds its world's fair in Russian Federation next June, the American pavilion will be glaringly absent.

On Monday, Istanbul prosecutors summoned another Turkish national working for the US consulate to testify.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Tuesday that the USA has seen no evidence that the consular employees were supporters of Gulen.

If the decision was made after discussion with senior officials, "then we have nothing to discuss with the administration", he said.

Ties between the two countries are tense over Gulen, who is wanted in Turkey but who denies allegations of plotting the failed coup.

Among them is also an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, who was detained last October and has been held in a Turkish prison ever since, despite repeated calls for his release. "For some reason his side of interactions are suddenly being classified as support for terrorism or membership in a terrorist organization, and I have yet to see a consistent description of which terrorist organization he is supposed to be a member of".

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