Davutoğlu: US Senate debate is ‘operation against AKP’
Davutoğlu said he believed the U.S. is attempting to 'dismantle the legitimacy of the AKP’s success story, and wear out the party.' AA PhotoComments by the new U.S. ambassador to Ankara, John Bass, that Turkey is “drifting in the direction” of authoritarianism, is part of a campaign against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
“The first five to six years of the [AKP’s] rule was to remove some obstacles [but Turkey has now experienced] real democracy in the last four to five years,” Davutoğlu said on July 17 in a televised interview, adding that the first phase was to build a strong foundation so democratization could flourish in Turkey.
He continued on stating he believed the U.S. is attempting to “dismantle the legitimacy of the AKP’s success story, and wear out the party.”
During the interview, Davutoğlu also pointed to the authoritarian nature that he believes exists in both the U.S. and Europe, stating he would ask Senator John McCain: “How many people named Muhammad [in the U.S. and Europe] have faced difficulties and even imprisonment?”
Meanwhile, at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Bass faced a series of tough questions from Senator John McCain regarding his nomination as ambassador to Turkey on July 15. Senator McCain said he would not support Bass’ nomination until he received a straight answer on whether he thought Turkey was drifting toward authoritarianism. “It is a drift in that direction, yes,” Bass eventually replied.
The Obama administration, however, defended the remarks made by Bass where he said Turkey is “drifting in the direction” of authoritarianism.
“Let me say that his comments were consistent with the concerns we have previously expressed, including in the annual Human Rights Report. We remain committed to supporting democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms in Turkey. And when they’re not met, we certainly express our concerns and that’s true in many countries around the world,” Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson, told reporters during a daily briefing July 16.
“Ambassador Bass will serve as a strong voice in support of democratic principles in Turkey. I worked very closely with him and I can’t think of a better representative for the United States and I can assure you that when he’s confirmed, I think the people of Turkey will see that as well,” Psaki added.