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Turkiye interior minister to US ambassador: ‘Take your dirty hands off Turkiye’

February 4, 2023 at 10:07 am

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in Ankara, Turkiye. [Muhammed Selim Korkutata – Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu issued an angry statement on Friday to US Ambassador to Ankara Jeffry Flake, demanding: “Take your dirty hands of Turkiye.”

According to Haberturk newspaper, Soylu added: “Every US ambassador who arrives in Turkiye is hurrying to find out how to make a coup possible in Turkiye.”

Addressing current US Ambassador Flake, Soylu asserted: “I address the US ambassador from here. I know the journalists you made write articles. Take your dirty hands off Turkiye. I’m being very clear.”

In other accusations to the US ambassador, the Turkish interior minister stated: “I very well know how you would like to create strife in Turkiye. Take your grinning face off from Turkiye.”

“Every US ambassador asks themselves how they can harm Turkiye. It has been one of Turkiye’s greatest misfortunes for years. They gather other ambassadors and try to give them advice. They do the same in Europe as US embassies run Europe,” Soylu noted in response to the US Embassy’s recent warning to its citizens in Turkiye against the danger of terrorist attacks in Istanbul. This came in a statement published by Western countries’ embassies. Some countries issued separate statements but relied on the direct US warning.

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The US Embassy’s statement was issued last week in light of radical right-wing individuals burning copies of Qurans in Europe.

Afterwards, many Western countries announced they would close their consulates in Istanbul for “security reasons” and in anticipation of “possible revenge attacks”, including Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu considered some Western countries’ decision to temporarily shut their consulates without discussing it with Ankara as “deliberate”.

“Why did they close their doors? They say there’s a terrorist threat. Now if there’s a terrorist threat, shouldn’t they – especially if they are allies – tell us where this threat originated from?” Cavusoglu asked.

He called on the countries that closed their consulates to: “Share this information with us, that is, to our security units, to our intelligence units, and if there is such a threat, it must be eliminated before it turns into an attack.”

Cavusoglu denied any concrete information-sharing with Turkiye by the Western countries, accusing them of only thinking of their own interests. He added that the ambassadors of these countries were summoned to inform them of this.

These incidents caused diplomatic tensions between Turkiye and certain European countries, especially Sweden, which witnessed the burning of a Quran in front of the Turkish embassy. The latter stopped a tripartite meeting to discuss Stockholm joining the NATO alliance.

READ: Turkiye says Western states gave it no evidence to back up security threat reports