AKP deputy head slams US envoy’s criticisms on long detentions
The deputy head of the AKP, Hüseyin Çelik slammed the US ambassador to Turkey in televised comments on the private broadcaster Kanal A. AA photo
A senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) reacted strongly today to critical remarks from U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone regarding the Turkish judicial system.
“We are inviting Ricciardone to remain within his boundaries and limits. We are not pleased with [his remarks], we condemn and denounce them. The ambassador should know his place,” said the deputy head of the AKP, Hüseyin Çelik in televised comments on the private broadcaster Kanal A.
Ricciardone, who briefed Ankara reporters yesterday after a suicide attack targeting the embassy killed two people Feb. 1, criticized the long detention of army officers, scholars and students. “You have your military leaders, who were entrusted with the protection of this country behind bars as if they were terrorists... When a legal system produces such results and confuses people like that for terrorists, it makes it hard for American and European courts to match up,” Ricciardone had said.
Çelik noted that the U.S. envoy had in the past also commented about internal questions in Turkey, emphasizing that it was unappropriate for a diplomat to make judgments about “topics that he does not know the details of.”
“The Prime Minister had called him ‘novice ambassador.’ As it seems, Ricciardone has not yet learnd his place in that period,” said Çelik.
The AKP deputy also asked the U.S. envoy to give explanations for the Guantanamo Camp, where al-Qaeda suspects are detained, and added that American tribunals were not appeal instances of the Turkish courts and therefore “didn’t need to understand [our] problems.”