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

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He also condemned USA support for Kurdish fighters in Syria and separate United States court cases against a senior Turkish banker and the president's own security guards, mocking what he said was Washington's claim to be "the capital of democracy".

The US and Turkey have been at loggerheads for more than a week, following the arrest of a US consular staff member.

In his call, Tillerson "emphasized the importance of transparency in the accusations made by the Turkish government and the need for the Turkish government to present the evidence behind these accusations", the State Department said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, a clique from the past administration that is within the American government wants to bring down an ax on relations between Turkey and the current U.S. administration", he said.

The US Embassy in Ankara on October 8 announced it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey, as response, Turkey's Washington Embassy also suspended non-immigrant visa services in the US, citing security concerns. In return, Ankara imposed tit-for-tat measures implementing the same measures.

Speaking to reporters at his residence in Ankara, John Bass said that he couldn't comment on the charges or evidence against the two, who are employed at USA missions in the country, because the Turkish government hasn't provided the US with any information.

Turkey's relations with the United States and many Western countries have been strained since last year's failed military coup against Erdogan, in which more than 240 people were killed.

"Let me be very clear, the person who caused this is the ambassador here. 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. They should have told him he could not act like that to a strategic ally.

He also said Ankara will stand behind its decision to mutually suspend visa services with Washington "if the US secretary of state and the president defend the ambassador's step".

He once again criticized the US's hesitation to sell arms to Turkey, while instead "providing arms to the terrorist organization for free".

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

In response, Turkey's Embassy to the US suspended non-immigrant visa services in the U.S. Topuz was detained on charges of espionage and alleged ties to US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government blames for a July 2016 coup attempt. He said that he couldn't comment on the charges or evidence against the two because Turkey hasn't provided the USA with that information.

"On the one hand you say you are the capital of democracy, but you hide PKK and FETO members", Erdogan said, using the label his government has given to Gulen's network. Metin Topuz, a Turkish national who works for the USA consulate in Istanbul, is the second U.S. mission staff member in Turkey to be detained this year.

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. Then it was made a decision to order the detention of my 13 guards, some of whom have never even been to the U.S. Is this democracy?

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