emfizz.com
emfizz.com October 17, 2017


Ankara calls for resolution to Turkey-US tensions

12 October 2017, 12:59 | Terri Saunders

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

"I use this opportunity to once again invite Turkish businesspeople to come and invest in Serbia now, especially when Halkbank is operating there", he said, referring to Turkey's large, state-owned bank. Last week, a USA consulate employee in Istanbul was arrested on charges of links to a cleric blamed for last year's failed coup, a move condemned by Washington as baseless and damaging to ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Relations between Turkey and the USA have been tense over disagreements on Syrian Kurdish militants, which the US backs in the war against the Islamic State group.

The U.S. ambassador to Turkey said on Monday the duration of a suspension in visa services in Turkey would depend on talks between the two governments regarding the detention of Turkish staff at the U.S. embassy. The cheering crowd held banners praising Erdogan, while many struggled to shake hands with the Turkish president.

Turkish officials had expressed hope of a new page in Ankara-Washington relations under President Donald Trump after repeated bickering in the last months of Barack Obama's term.

"We have felt at home during this visit to Serbia", Erdogan said. Bass is at the end of his posting and is due to leave Turkey at the weekend.

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The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a United States 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. Gulen denies any involvement.

Ties have also frayed in recent months over the refusal of the USA to extradite Gulen, and its support for Kurdish militias in Syria.

USA 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.

Erdogan said the $800 million of trade between the two countries "is not enough" and that it should increase sharply in the near future.



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