Turkey is much safer than US, Turkish FM says
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Jan. 12 said a new U.S. travel warning on Turkey was “unnecessary.”
Speaking in Los Angeles during his visit to a cemetery for killed Turkish diplomats, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey and the U.S. shouldn’t waste time on “unnecessary” actions not suiting an ally, such as the new State Department warning on Turkey.
“Turkey is a much safer country than the U.S. Considering the events of 2017, we can easily say that Turkey is not less safe than the U.S. but a much safer country,” he added.
He noted that around 32 million tourists visited Turkey last year, and the number of early reservations from the U.S. is high for the upcoming season.
Çavuşoğlu also stressed that as allies, Turkish-U.S. ties should “focus on a positive agenda and cooperation on regional issues.”
He said xenophobia in the U.S. was alarming. “We saw how the U.S. administration, particularly the [Donald] Trump administration, humiliated other countries,” he added.
The U.S. State Department issued an advisory dated Jan. 12 urging U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Turkey “due to terrorism” and “arbitrary detentions.”
On Jan. 12, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also issued a travel advisory for citizens travelling to the U.S., warning them of rising acts of terrorism and arbitrary arrests of Turkish citizens.
The gravesite visited by Çavuşoğlu is the final resting place of three Turkish diplomats killed in the U.S. in the line of duty by the Armenian militant group ASALA.
Turkish Consul General Mehmet Baydar and Consul Bahadır Demir were killed on Jan. 27, 1973, and on Jan. 28, 1982, Turkish Consul General Kemal Arıkan was killed in another attack.
ASALA has killed 31 Turkish diplomats across the world between 1973 and 1986, according to a 2015 study.