US was in danger of “sacrificing” its relations with Turkey says Erdogan

Vastavam web: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today said the US was in danger of “sacrificing” its relations with Turkey, as he blamed the American envoy to Ankara for the crisis in relations between the NATO allies.”It is the ambassador here who caused this,” Erdogan told a meeting in Ankara, referring to the outgoing US envoy in Turkey, John Bass.The dispute erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the US consulate in Istanbul on suspicion of links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim preacher who Ankara blames for last year’s failed coup.
Although Turkish officials blamed the ambassador for the spat, the State Department said Bass had been operating with the full authority of the US government.Bass is due to leave Turkey at the weekend after he was named the US envoy to Afghanistan earlier this year.On Monday, Turkish prosecutors summoned another local employee working at the US consulate in Istanbul.
Erdogan today claimed that he was hiding in the consulate, but Bass had denied this the day before, telling reporters: “No one’s hiding at any of our facilities.” Ankara wanted to open a new page in relations with the US under President Donald Trump but a spate of issues have raised tensions, including the US refusal to extradite Gulen and American support for Kurdish militias in Syria.