Turkish minister urges US to 'take dirty hands' off Turkey
Ankara accuses a number of Western nations of failing to comply with their obligations, urging Washington to stop trying to incite against the country.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu accused Friday the United States of ruling Europe and urged Washington to stop trying to stir up his country in light of the recent developments within the country.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused some Western countries that had closed down their consulates in the country for security reasons of failing to comply with their allied obligations.
"Every US ambassador asks themselves how they can harm Turkey. It has been one of Turkey’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," the Turkish interior minister noted.
"They thought about how they could project this onto Turkey but there is one person who spoiled their little game, and that is [President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Here, I’m telling the US ambassador that I know the journalists that he gave assignments. Keep your dirty hands off of Turkey. I know for sure what steps you took and how you plan to stir Turkey up," Soylu added.
Cavusoglu called the closure of western consulates "deliberate," adding that the Western countries had not shared what they meant by "security reasons."
"Why did they close their doors?" asked Cavusoglu at a news conference in Istanbul with his Argentine counterpart Santiago Cafiero. "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?"
"They tell us, 'We have concrete information, there's a threat. That's why we're closing.' Who did it come from? Where? Who will do it? There's no information about that," he explained.
"They must 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."
The two ministers' remarks came after Ankara summoned the ambassadors of Western countries, including the US, to criticize their decision to temporarily shut diplomatic missions and issue security alerts following the recent burnings of the holy Quran in Europe.
Following a string of Quran-burning demonstrations in Northern Europe, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom all halted operations at their consulates in Istanbul this week, citing security concerns. Furthermore, travel advisories were issued by the US and numerous other countries.
Read: US, EU unsafe for Turkish nationals: Turkish Foreign Ministry
The Turkish Interior Minister claimed that when his nation opposed the sacrilegious act of Quran burning in Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands, the West was waging "psychological warfare" against his country.
Turkey increased security measures to protect missions
Cavusoglu denounced the Western countries' attempts to try to make Turkey look unstable or give the impression that there is a terrorist threat in the country.
"This does not suit friendship or alliance," he said.
If they are trying to get Turkey into a difficult situation before the general elections, Ankara knows very well what is behind it, he added, stressing that Turkey expects honesty, and the countries should not serve the "insidious" agendas of terrorist groups.
The Interior Ministry has increased security measures in the country after the recent burning of the Quran, because "our obligation is to protect these missions", Cavusoglu added.
"But we also see some European countries that have nothing to do with this incident, and they are also closing (their consulates). In other words, we also know that some countries are telling others to join this closure action. We also have such information," he added.
Turkey has issued the needed warning, Cavusoglu said.
"After that, if they resort to such methods without sharing concrete information and documents, there will be additional steps we will take towards them."