Turkey-U.S. tension develops over al-Qaeda member

By: Deniz Zeyrek / Al Monitor (translated from Radikal) 

Recent remarks by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey suggest that bilateral ties between the two states are waning, with Turkey’s stance toward al-Qaeda member Suleiman Abu Ghaith being a point of contention. 

The media coverage of U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone’s meeting

with journalists this week focused mostly on the DHKP-C suicide attack [at the U.S. embassy in Ankara], his criticism of the judiciary and Kurdish problems. But the picture the ambassador painted shows that the current state of bilateral ties is not very promising, let alone human rights violations in Turkey. The two countries are deeply divided on Iraq, Syria, Israel and Iran. Now they have also a crisis over al-Qaeda.

Washington has already complained of Turkey’s failure to take a clear stance against al-Qaeda militants fighting Assad in Syria and its reluctance to fully join the global alliance against the financing of terrorism, especially of al-Qaeda. Nowadays Washington is irked that Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a prominent al-Qaeda figure, is treated as an ordinary asylum seeker in Ankara.

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