Turkish PM Erdoğan to meet US, European envoys
US envoy Francis Ricciardone will bid farewell to Erdoğan. AA PhotoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet with the American ambassador to Turkey and ambassadors from European Union countries on June 24.
Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Ankara is to bid farewell to Erdoğan after his three years of mandate that saw serious confrontations between himself and the prime minister. In the last three years, Erdoğan targeted Ricciardone for various reasons and even threatened to expel the ambassador from Turkey by declaring him persona non grata.
Erdoğan’s criticisms on the American ambassador were first launched when Ricciardone censured the government’s restrictions on freedom of expression. Labeling the ambassador as a “rookie” and ignorant on Turkish affairs, the prime minister and his advisors did not hesitate to criticize Ricciardone in public, especially during last year’s Gezi protests and in the aftermath of the Dec. 17, 2013, corruption and graft probe. Ricciardone is soon to leave Turkey and retire from the State Department. He will continue his career as vice president of the Atlantic Council, a think tank based in Washington D.C.
Erdoğan’s agenda today also includes a luncheon with EU ambassadors. Erdoğan is to deliver a speech to the various ambassadors and will discuss the state of Turkey’s accession process. Erdoğan holds such meetings with EU ambassadors twice a year.