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‘This isn’t a colony!’ Ankara snaps at Washington over risk that US pharma might exit Turkey if it fails to repay $2.3bn debt

‘This is not a colony!’ Ankara snaps at Washington over threat that US pharma may exit Turkey if it fails to repay $2.3bn debt


US Ambassador David Satterfield is treating Turkey like a colony, Ankara’s well being minister Fahrettin Koca stated, commenting on the escalating row over the skyrocketing debt Turkey owes to American drug firms.

“What the ambassador did is neither appropriate nor moral. He’s utilizing manipulation at a time after we are holding talks with drug firms. He could possibly do such acts in colonies, however this isn’t such a rustic,” Koca informed reporters on Friday, whereas visiting the Black Sea province of Samsun. 

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Koca was referring to the “extraordinarily unlucky” feedback by the US envoy throughout a commerce convention on Wednesday, when Satterfield warned that American pharmaceutical firms “will contemplate departing the Turkish market or will cut back publicity to Turkish market,” over the excellent debt – which ballooned from $230 million final yr to some $2.three billion presently.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak assured US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that immediate funds might be organized when Ross raised the problem in 2019, Sutterfied stated. Now, nevertheless, Turkey is asking US firms to just accept considerably diminished repayments. That is unacceptable to Washington, he stated.

In the meantime, Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu lashed out at Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi (D-California) earlier on Friday, criticizing her “blatant ignorance” and threatening that she is going to “be taught to respect the Turkish individuals’s will.”

Cavusoglu’s indignant tweet got here after Pelosi sought to criticize US President Donald Trump as a wannabe dictator, arguing the US is a democracy – not like North Korea, Turkey, Russia or Saudi Arabia.

“We do know who he admires. He admires [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he admires Kim Jong Un, he admires Erdogan in Turkey,” Pelosi informed reporters.

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The “colonial” row over medical debt and the Cavusoglu-Pelosi diplomatic flare-up are simply the newest within the string of sparks between Ankara and Washington in recent times. The US has threatened Turkey with sanctions and kicked Ankara out of the F-35 stealth fighter consortium after the acquisition of Russian S-400 air protection methods in July 2019. 

One other spherical of sanctions threats got here in October, after Turkey despatched troops into areas of northern Syria held by the US-backed Kurdish militias. Ankara’s transfer additionally soured relations with one other NATO ally, France, which has since repeatedly butted heads with Turkey over Libya and oil exploration within the Jap Mediterranean.

Extra just lately, Washington expressed “disappointment” in July, after Erdogan determined to transform Hagia Sophia right into a mosque once more. The Orthodox cathedral was constructed by the Byzantines and became a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (now Istanbul), however grew to become a museum underneath Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of the fashionable Turkish republic.

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