When a US Drug Enforcement Administration worker was detained in Istanbul last week, Erdogan's spokesman said the employee had been in contact with a leading suspect in last July's failed coup. Bass's move was made in consultation with Trump administration officials in Washington, she said.
The strained relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies escalated last week after Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the U.S. consulate on suspicion of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016.
US-Turkish relations were already strained over US military support for Kurdish fighters in Syria and the United States' unwillingness to extradite Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally whom Ankara views as the mastermind behind last year's failed military coup.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised Washington for coming under the influence of the USA ambassador in Ankara over a visa dispute, which has strained relations between the between the two allies.
Turkish authorities last week detained Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen working for the USA consulate in Istanbul.
Turkey's ties with the USA have frayed since the failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016. "It is unacceptable that the USA has sacrificed a strategic partner like Turkey to a presumptuous ambassador", Erdoğan said. "Someone should have said: "You cannot treat your strategic partner this way, you can't behave like this".
He once again criticized the US's hesitation to sell arms to Turkey, while instead "providing arms to the terrorist organization for free".
The US Embassy in Ankara on October 8 announced it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all diplomatic facilities in Turkey, as response, Turkey's Washington Embassy also suspended non-immigrant visa services in the US, citing security concerns. "Turkey is never a party that extends a problem", Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan also stated that the detention process of the USA consulate officer Topuz "is ongoing within the constitutional framework". Topuz was detained on charges of espionage and alleged ties to US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government blames for a July 2016 coup attempt.
President Erdoğan also referred to ongoing disputes between Ankara and Washington regarding the case of Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab, now facing trial in the US on charges of violating sanctions on Iran, in a case that has also embroiled former minister Zafer Çağlayan and state-run Halkbank deputy general manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla. Gulen, who denies plotting the insurrection, is wanted in Turkey, but US officials are still processing an extradition request.
"On one hand you say you are the mainland of democracy but on the other hand you defend, in your own terms, the rights of an individual related to FETÖ who has no diplomatic qualification in your consulate".
Ambassador Bass said this week no one was hiding in the USA consulate, and that he had seen nothing of merit in the charges against the pastor, Andrew Brunson. Then it was chose to order the detention of my 13 guards, some of whom have never even been to the U.S. Is this democracy?