My trips always met with suspicion: US ambassador to Turkey
Zeynep Bilgehan ANKARA - Hürriyet
Francis Ricciardone, US Amabassador to Turkey, waits for a flat tire to be changed during his trip to th eastern province of Hakkari on June 25.U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone has suggested that Turkish people “love” conspiracy theories and said that wherever he goes they think he is “preparing trouble.”
After being asked whether he was met with claims that he was “spying” during his recent trips to several cities, Ricciardone referred to Twitter. “Sure, because there is a culture that loves conspiracy theories. We are making fun of it. Those theories use to be discussed in cafes, but now they are being circulated on Twitter,” he said.
Ricciardone has been in his post for three years and has visited more than 30 cities. Most recently, he climbed to the summit of Mount Ağrı, the highest mountain peak in Turkey at 5,137 meters, in July.
“For instance, last Wednesday, both the British and U.S. ambassadors were in Malatya province. Rumors emerged like: ‘Why? Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so, there is no such a thing as coincidence. What are they - the old colonial master and his apprentice - pursuing?’” he said. “Wherever I go, they ask ‘why is the U.S. ambassador here? He is definitely preparing some trouble.’”
Ricciardone said he was amused by such theories. “I say, ‘Of course, bravo, how could you know? What is your source?’ and laugh,” he said.