By Rebecca Crane, CNN • Updated 10th September 2020
Turkey has made official a list of US diplomats which includes the American ambassador and 9 others, including the two American consulates in Istanbul, accusing them of being tools of political “terror.”
In a statement published Friday on the White House website, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the diplomats “invite to be recipients of the curses of a (God) who stands firm on the path of righteous and just action.”
“The Americans should know that their ambassadors’ achievements, which included promoting violence and unrest in my country, is no gift but the fruit of our people’s patience and God’s might.”
The post and the names were first published in Turkish newspapers
Aleem Siddique, Turkey’s US ambassador, and US consulates in Istanbul and Izmir are included in the blacklist.
“I am proud of the thousands of US Embassy employees for their tremendous contributions to the US-Turkey relationship. They provide the people of Turkey with fundamental information, the most important being their assessments of the critical business and investment issues we are involved in. It is unfortunate that this article seeks to cast doubt on that role and negatively impact the friendship between our two countries.
“Turkey remains a key US ally in the Middle East and the US is continuing to strengthen our partnership in a range of areas. All factors will be taken into account when examining our responses and our response will remain consistent with US policy of respect for the independence of domestic Turkish institutions and respect for democratic principles.”
This is not the first time Erdogan has taken to the media to call out the US Embassy in Ankara.
In September 2016, the Turkish president wrote in a series of three tweets that it was time for the US to change the ambassador.
Yasser Abbas, the ambassador’s deputy told CNN at the time he “absolutely” did not think this was an attempt to oust Siddique but simply a request for consistency between the Turkish and US missions.
Earlier this year, Erdogan expelled the US Embassy Charge d’Affaires and several other embassy staff in Ankara after a top US diplomat made remarks regarding the Turkish leader.
Many US embassy personnel are thought to have retired and moved to the US Consulate in Adana, but there are believed to be some diplomats left at the embassy in Ankara and consulates in Adana and Izmir.