Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik on Jan. 26 that although there is “reaction” among Turkish people against the U.S. policies, there is “no anti-Americanism” in Turkey.
"The new administration in the U.S. started its duty. We are in contact. It is pleasing that the new administration took the office in an uneventful way following the crisis on Jan. 6....We have heard a couple of saddening things in this period. There have been some statements that the reason for the anti-Americanism in Turkey is the AKP. These evaluations are wrong. Anti-Americanism is out of the question in Turkey,” Çelik told reporters in the capital Ankara following a meeting of the party's Central Executive Board.
Çelik said that it is “normal” for Turkish people to show reaction in the face of Fethullah Gülen living in a “comfortable way” in the United States. Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania, is wanted in Turkey on charges that he instigated the failed coup attempt of July 2016.
“There is nothing more normal than the reaction of our citizens in the face of the person who is responsible from the July 15 coup attempt living in a comfortable way in the U.S.,” Çelik said.
The AKP spokesperson also said that the U.S.' “explicit support” for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) is another issue that causes “reaction” among Turkish people. Ankara considers the YPG as a terrorist organization due to its links with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.
Çelik said that although problems do exist between Turkey and U.S., “there is no issue that we cannot solve with an alliance based on mutual respect."
The first signs of a gloomy picture between Turkey and the U.S. came from Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken last week, who referred to Turkey as a “so-called strategic” partner before even assuming office.
“The idea that a strategic — so-called strategic — partner of ours would actually be in line with one of our biggest strategic competitors in Russia is not acceptable,” Blinked said, in remarks which suggest Ankara faces an uphill task with the new U.S. administration.