Ultranationalist leader slams US: ‘Visa of friendship’ is expiring

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Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party's leader (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli (Photo: AFP)

Speaking at a parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday regarding a US decision to suspend visa services in Turkey, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said he hopes the US corrects its “mistake” and avoids adding fuel to the fire, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Blaming the US for the diplomatic crisis, Bahçeli said: “What is the aim of the US with this ban on visa [services]? Weren’t we friends? Weren’t the two countries closer than ever? Wasn’t [President] Trump telling such tales? What’s changed between us [Turkey and the US]? Whose buttons have been pushed? Who’s had nightmares? It is a mistake to reflect the side effects of persistent tensions between the two countries on their citizens. A visa of friendship, alliance, strategic partnership [of Turkey] with the US is about to expire.”

Bahçeli reportedly complained that the Trump administration in the US did not question “[Massoud] Barzani’s pirate referendum” for the Kurdish region’s independence from Iraq held on Sept. 25 but only found it “untimely.”

Underlining his disturbance at the Kurdish independence referendum, the ultranationalist leader added: “The White House acted with ambivalence and hypocrisy. They [the US] are disturbed by the fact that Turkey is taking an initiative in the [Middle East] region. The US coming from many kilometers away to carry out operations [in the region] is fine, but Turkey’s reactions, and hence, intervention in the calamities and catastrophes right across its borders would be wrong. How on earth is this possible? How could such impotence ever be acceptable?

Continuing to rage against the US government, Bahçeli added, “Either you will know your place or go home, Yankee.”

Bahçeli and his party have shown tacit political support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and called for the continuation of a state of emergency that was declared in Turkey in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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