Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Washington of “sacrificing” relations with Ankara, and has blamed the ongoing diplomatic dispute on a US ambassador “who doesn't know his place.”
“Let me be very clear, the person who caused this is the ambassador here. It is unacceptable for the United States to sacrifice a strategic partner to an ambassador who doesn't know his place,” Erdogan told provincial governors in Ankara on Thursday, as quoted by Reuters.
Erdogan was referencing outgoing US Ambassador John Bass, whom the Turkish president previously accused of acting alone in the decision to suspend the issuance of visas to Turkish citizens, rather than on behalf of the United States government.
Erdogan reiterated that belief on Thursday.
“What a shame if the great United States of America is being governed by an ambassador in Ankara. Because this is the position they are holding. They should have said, ‘You cannot treat my strategic ally this way, you cannot act this way.’ But they couldn't say this,” he said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
Read more: ‘We don’t need you’: Erdogan accuses Washington of ‘sacrificing’ relations with Turkey