Ankara, September 13, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Turkey is not just a state of the United States, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said, amid a growing backlash against U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass after his statement on the appointment of trustees to 28 municipalities across the country on terror charges
“The U.S. ambassador is exceeding his limits. He is being disrespectful and throwing insults at Turkey. But Turkey is not just a state of the U.S. Turkey is an independent, national and proud state,” Bahçeli said during an Eid al-Adha ceremony at the party’s headquarters on Sept. 13.
The Interior Ministry on Sept. 11 replaced some 24 mayors in the country’s eastern and southeastern municipalities accused of actively providing support to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), along with another four who allegedly had links with the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), blamed for the failed coup attempt of July 15.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara had expressed its concerns in the aftermath of clashes in some southeastern provinces following the removal of mayors and the assignment of trustees to 28 municipalities.
MHP head Bahçeli’s remarks came one day after Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu both slammed the U.S. Embassy statement, calling it “unacceptable.”
“We are concerned by reports of clashes in Turkey’s southeast following the government’s decision to remove some elected local officials from office on charges of supporting terrorism, and appoint local trustees in their place,” the statement said.
“The United States condemns terrorism and supports Turkey’s right to defend itself. As Turkish authorities investigate allegations that some local officials have participated in or provided material support to terrorist groups, we note the importance of respect for judicial due process and individual rights, including the right of peaceful political expression, as enshrined in the Turkish constitution. We hope that any appointment of trustees will be temporary and that local citizens will soon be permitted to choose new local officials in accordance with Turkish law,” it added.