Turkey Tells US Envoy to Stop Meddling In Its Affairs

usa-turkeyTurkey bluntly told the US ambassador on Thursday to stop meddling in its domestic affairs after he fired off a strident attack on the country’s justice system.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag

“Ambassadors should mind their own business. They should stay away from assessments that mean interference in Turkey’s judiciary and domestic affairs,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone
US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone

In an interview with local media on Tuesday, US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone criticised “the flaws” in the justice system, highlighting “lengthy pre-trial detentions, lack of clarity in presenting charges, lack of transparency”.

In particular, he took aim at the jailing of scores of military and political figures.

“You have your military leaders, who were entrusted with the protection of this country, behind bars as if they were terrorists,” Ricciardone said, adding that a number of lawmakers had also suffered the same fate.

“You have members of parliament who have been behind bars for a long time, sometimes on unclear charges,” he added.

“You have professors… You have non-violent student protesters protesting tuition hikes behind bars. When a legal system produces such results and confuses people like that for terrorists, it makes it hard for American and European courts to match up.”

The comments by Ricciardone, who has had an uneasy relationship with the authorities since his appointment in January 2011, came after a suicide bombing outside the US embassy in Ankara on Friday that was claimed by a radical anti-US leftwing group.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s