World Bulletin / News Desk
The US ambassador to Turkey, Françis Ricciardone, has broken his silence on recent wiretapping scandals in the country and an audio leak of a recording from a secret meeting between Turkish officials discussing possible war tactics in Syria.
Speaking to Turkey's daily Hurriyet, Françis Ricciardone said that he did not believe Turkey would actually send troops into Syria and that he had no knowledge of the wiretapping scandal, adding that he feels he has no reason to question statements made by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu regarding the matter.
In regards to the Syria crisis, Ricciardone said that the US and Turkey were on the same page when it came to strategic objectives but naturally looked at events from different perspectives.
The top US diplomat also said that he does not believe Turkey is looking for an excuse to go to war with Syria and would not send its troops there unnecessarily. The discussion of war plans in the leaked audio was simply a normal procedure of debating methods to restore peace and security to a region in face of a threat, he stated.
He also said that Turkey had brought up the subject of deporting the US-based Turkish congregation leader Fethullah Gulen to Turkey to face questioning over his alleged role in a 'parallel state', which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims has been set up by Gulen and his followers to undermine the government.
Ricciardone said that the US would respond to such a request with all due respect and seriousness, but would not be able to interfere in the rights reserved by Turkish citizens living in the US.
Turkish premier Erdogan has blamed Gulen for being behind the wiretapping scandal and audio leaks, as well as using aides in the Turkish judiciary and security forces to plot against government ministers, top bureaucrats and the Turkish secret services.Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2014, 12:00