Turkey-US tensions rise: The U.S. ambassador summoned in Ankara

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry today summoned U.S. Ambassador David Satterfield following President  Erdogan’s harsh criticization of the Biden administration in Washington for supplying weapons to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Erdogan’s comments followed the conditional condemnation of the U.S. State Department statement on the execution of 13 Turkish citizens by the PKK in the Gara region of northern Iraq. The U.S. State Department’s statement questioned whether the PKK was behind the killings. ”If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Ned Price, spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said in a statement.

Earlier on Monday, Erdogan said it was time for the U.S. to stop supporting terrorist groups during a televised speech in his home city of Rize in northeast Turkey. The President said “The U.S. has given them weapons and they have fought against us. If we are going to be together within NATO, you will side with us, not terrorists.”

Turkey considers the the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) to be a terrorist organisation affiliated with the PKK.  YPG, acting as the armed forces of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was a key element in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) under the U.S.-led international coalition.

İn the later hours, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Cavusoglu reportedly talked with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken where “bilateral relations were discussed in all aspects.” Cavusoglu reflected Turkey’s discomfort with the recent statements made by the USA as regional issues, FETO, PKK / PYD, fight against terrorism, S-400, Syria, and the Eastern Mediterranean issues were also mentioned.

No further solid comments are made, yet.