Turkey’s presidential doors are now closed to the US ambassador Jeffry Flake, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, reacting with fury to Flake’s recent visit to the main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the Diken news site reports.
Ambassador Flake visited Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Erdoğan’s main rival in the coming presidential elections, at CHP headquarters on 29 March. Erdoğan targeted both Ambassador Flake and the US during a visit on Monday to an Istanbul branch of the Grey Wolves, a far-right organisation attached to the president’s allies the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The president spoke forcefully against the actions of the ambassador, saying, “We need to teach America a lesson”, and referring to “Biden’s ambassador going to visit ‘Mr Kemal’”.
Erdoğan called Flake’s visit “a disgrace”, adding, “Use your head a little. You’re the ambassador, you should be addressing the president. How will you have the face to and ask the president for an appointment after this?”
Stating that the presidential door was now closed to Flake, Erdoğan said it was not a door just anyone could pass through, and addressing the ambassador, said, “You will know your place, you will know how an ambassador should work”.