In reaction to a statement released by the US ambassador to Turkey expressing concern over a decision to appoint trustees to mostly Kurdish municipalities, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Tuesday lashed out at the United States, saying that the US ambassador is not the governor of Turkey.
Stating that Turkey has long been fighting against terrorism, Çavuşoğlu said that no elected mayor can be considered untouchable if that mayor is assisting terrorism. Çavuşoğlu further added that as the government, at times like this, they are frustrated and saddened by the attitude of an ally like the US.
The US Embassy on Saturday had released a statement on its website expressing concern about clashes in Turkey’s Southeast following a government decision to remove elected officials from office and replace them with trustees, saying it hopes any appointment of trustees will be temporary and that citizens will soon be permitted to choose new local officials in accordance with the law.
Criticizing the statement, Çavuşoğlu voiced disapproval of the method, saying that when it comes to criticism of the US in issues such as racism and Islamophobia, they talk to their American counterparts directly.
“The police have killed countless people in the US, but I don’t call my ambassador in the US and tell him to make a statement,” the Turkish foreign minister said, complaining about the US reaction. He further said that despite their disapproval, as the government, when they speak out, it is considered interference in the domestic affairs of the US, but Americans feel entitled to say anything.
“None of you are the bosses of Turkey as it is not a second class country,” Çavuşoğlu stated as he went on to urge the US to consider Turkey as an equal partner if they want to have a strong relationship. Çavusoğlu also noted that they are not going to let anyone act as if they are governors of Turkey.
“Your ambassadors are not governors in Turkey. They should do their jobs properly within the framework of the Vienna Conventions,” Çavuşoğlu added in his harsh remarks.