World Bulletin/News Desk
A photograph of U.S. President Barack Obama holding a baseball bat while talking on the phone to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was intended to show their close relationship, a White House spokeswoman said, after the photo caused a stir in Turkey.
The two leaders spoke on Monday to discuss the crisis in Syria, after which the photograph of Obama seated at his desk, talking on the phone while holding a bat autographed by black-American baseball great Hank Aaron, was released by the White House.
"The photo reveals from whom our Prime Minister receives orders to rule the country," Metin Lutfi Baydar, a lawmaker with Turkey's main opposition party the Republican People's Party (CHP), said in a statement.
CHP vice president Umut Oran asked through parliament if Erdogan had seen the picture and if he would take action against "an implicit insult to Turkey and its citizens".
Some newspapers took a more lighthearted view, with columnist Ahmet Hakan of Hurriyet writing: "We need to do something - retaliation seems to be the most reasonable method."
"Our prime minister needs to hold something in his hand as he's calling Obama," he added, suggesting as possible candidates a slipper, a belt or a rolling pin.
White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a written statement on Friday that her department had seen the commentary and speculation about the photo in the Turkish media.
"We released the photo with only one purpose in mind, to highlight the President's continuing close relationship with Prime Minister Erdogan and draw attention to the important conversation they had about the worsening situation in Syria," she said.
"The President values his friendship and close partnership with Prime Minister Erdogan on a range of important issues on which the United States cooperates with Turkey," she added.
The PM said he was confident that a crucial EU-IMF reforms audit could conclude despite certain "absurd" demands.
President-elect expected to formally announce choice as early as next week
Republicans on Saturday rejected news reports about a secret CIA assessment finding that Russia sought to tip the US election in Trump's favor.
UN Security Council demands Gambia's Jammeh hand over power
Increased aggressiveness against ISIL could lead to heightened danger at home. Her message comes as Germany and its allies seek new ways to counter radicalism.
Worshippers were attending ordination for church’s founder
Arshad al-Salihi says only Turkey helped thousands of Turkmen who fled Iraq's Tal Afar to Syria's Azaz district
A young Muslim woman who was assaulted by three drunk men on the NY subway last week was reported missing and has now been located
Protesters demand Labour leader to say more on humanitarian aid in Syria
"The Colombian peace agreement is a ray of hope in a world troubled by so many conflicts and so much intolerance," he said.
Jerome Starkey of The Times was detained at airport without charge
John Kerry has said that the Syrian regime guilty of 'crimes against humanity, war crimes': Kerry
Al-Shabaab have claimed responsibility for attack which took place at Somali military base near Mogadishu
On September 22, 1979, the American Vela 6911 satellite designed to detect nuclear tests from orbit, observed a curious double flash originating near the Prince Edward Islands off the coast of Antarctica in the southern Atlantic.
PM Cazeneuve cites concerns over terrorist threats as France holds presidential and parliamentary elections next year
Many incoming cabinet members have railed against the worker protections and environmental and corporate regulations that President Barack Obama has enacted.