BELGRADE – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that neither he nor his government recognized the United States ambassador to Ankara following the suspension of non-migration visas for Turkish nationals.
The American ambassador in Ankara, John Bass, said via Twitter the decision was taken after the arrest of a consulate worker in connection with last year’s failed coup.
“I should say this clearly: We do not see him as the representative of the United States of America in Turkey,” Erdogan said after meeting with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade.
“Myself, as well as our ministers and the parliamentary speaker have not and will not accept his farewell visit,” Erdogan said about Bass, who is reportedly biding his farewells before heading to Afghanistan.
Turkish police reportedly believed that immediately prior to the failed coup of July 15, 2016, the wife of the consulate worker deposited a large sum of money into a bank allegedly linked to Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic cleric exiled in the US.
Ankara holds Gülen responsible for orchestrating the failed putsch, an accusation that he vehemently denies.