Erdoğan to US: We don’t need you

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during his meeting with governors at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on October 12, 2017. Turkish Presidency / Yasin Bulbul / Anadolu Agency

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday accused the US administration of “sacrificing a strategic partner to a presumptuous ambassador,” saying Turkey does not need America, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Speaking at a meeting with provincial governors at the presidential palace in Ankara, Erdoğan continued to criticize US Ambassador to Turkey John Bass for an ongoing visa crisis between the two countries resulting from the arrest of a Turkish staff member at the US Consulate General and a detention warrant issued for another last weekend.

“Let me be very clear, the person who caused this is the ambassador here. It is unacceptable that the US has sacrificed a strategic partner like Turkey to a presumptuous ambassador,” Erdoğan said.

“It’s a shame if the great America is governed by an ambassador in Ankara,” he added.

“We are not a tribal state. We are the state of the Republic of Turkey and you will accept it. If you don’t, then sorry, but we don’t need you.”

Accusing the US of trying to besiege Turkey from the south by aiding Kurdish militant groups in Syria as if they were fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Erdoğan said: “No one should try to cheat us.”

Erdoğan also reacted to Washington over arms transfers to Kurdish militants in Syria while not approving Turkish requests: “I am ordering my minister here. From now on our police will not use SIG Sauer weapons; the should not use them. We will use weapons made here.”

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