Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has slammed the recent statement by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, saying the U.S. ambassador in Turkey “is not a governor.”
“Some statements, especially coming from our allies, make us sad at a time when we are fighting against terrorism,” Çavuşoğlu said on Sept. 13 in his hometown Antalya.
“No elected official can be untouchable if they are aiding terrorists,” he added.
The U.S. Embassy on Sept. 11 released a statement on its website expressing concern about a government decision to replace 24 mayors in Turkey’s east and southeast with trustees, calling for early local elections as soon as possible.
“First of all, the method of such an interference cannot be accepted,” Çavuşoğlu said in response.
“We voice our concerns about issues in many countries, for example the rising racism in the U.S. The police have killed countless people in the U.S., but I don’t call my ambassador in Washington and tell him to make a statement. We voice our concerns directly to our American counterparts, this is just politeness,” he added.
The foreign minister also complained that “the Americans feel entitled to say anything.”
“None of you are the bosses of Turkey … If you want to have a strong relationship with Turkey, you will consider Turkey as an equal partner,” Çavuşoğlu said. “It is not a second-class country.”
“Your ambassadors are not governors in Turkey. They should do their jobs properly within the framework of the Vienna Conventions,” he added.
Çavuşoğlu also reiterated Ankara’s official arrest request for U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of leading the July 15 failed coup attempt.
“[Gülen] should be extradited to face trial. All those who fled abroad who are linked to the failed coup will have to account for it eventually,” he stated.