President Erdoğan had earlier that day indicated that he believed that the move had been initiated by U.S. Ambassador John Bass himself, saying that if this was the case, “the administration should immediately withdraw him for exceeding his authority.” Erdogan also said if the decision reflects the will of the administration, then I have nothing left to talk about with them [Trump.].
US Spox holds accountable AKP Government for arrests
US spox Nauert repeated several times that US missions’ local employees were arrested by ‘Turkish Government’ not by the Turkish judiciary. US spox also addressed the Turkish government and made it clear that Washington holds AKP government accountable for what is happening to their local staff.
One of Erdoğan’s advisors had even suggested that the damage to the bilateral relationship had been carried out knowingly by “people […] trying to openly depose U.S. President Donald Trump”.
In response, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said that the restriction of visa issuances at embassies and consulates in Turkey was, “coordinated with the State Department […] coordinated with the White House and coordinated with the NSC [National Security Council].” Therefore, US spokesperson Nauert stated the decision is indeed reflecting the will of the whole administration.
The U.S. consular staff under arrest and facing arrest warrants, she added, were just a few among “about 200,000 people” whom “the Turkish Government has basically rounded up”.
The present chill in the bilateral relationship was made even more explicit when Nauert compared Turkey to President Donald’s bête noire.
“If you look at Russia, that’s another country where we would like to improve the relationship,” she said. “But right now, that is being called into question with the actions that the Turkish Government took.”