AKP slams US official's polls remarks
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) slammed U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino on April 4 over his remarks on Turkey's local elections.
“The statement by the U.S. State Department spokesman on Turkey's election process should be condemned,” AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik told reporters at the party's headquarters in the capital, Ankara.
Çelik said it was incomprehensible for Palladino to make such a statement, which could be interpreted as meddling in the election process and results in Turkey.
"Free and fair elections are essential for any democracy. That means acceptance of legitimate election results, which is essential,” Palladino said at a press briefing.
“We expect nothing less from Turkey, which has a long, proud tradition in this respect,” he added.
Çelik said that “no foreign government, or any organ or statement from it, is a source of legitimacy for the election process and election results in Turkey.”
On the row with the U.S. over Turkey's decision to purchase Russia's S-400 missile defense system, Çelik said demanding that Ankara give up a “done deal” is disrespecting the country's sovereign rights.
“Asking Turkey to withdraw from an agreement that is already completed is disrespectful to Turkey's sovereignty,” said Çelik, adding Turkey will not give any credit to this “disrespectful” act.
Within the scope of NATO's 70th anniversary, Çelik highlighted that Turkey is a “key country and ally” of the alliance.
But “constantly questioning Turkey's NATO membership is also questioning the fundamental values of the NATO alliance”, he said.