Turkey hopes for quick normalization of soured bilateral ties with US


President Donald Trump reaches to shake Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hand before a meeting on Sept. 21 in New York City. AFP Getty Images

-Turkish tensions have risen over US military support for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria, considered by Ankara to be an extension of the banned PKK, which has waged an insurgency for three decades in southeast Turkey. Bass has already received a new appointment in Afghanistan, but before his departure he will have farewell meetings with representatives of the Turkish state as ministers and the Speaker of Parliament.

The dispute blew up last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate on suspicion of links to the group blamed for last year's failed coup.

The US and Turkey on Sunday indefinitely halted all non-immigrant visa services to each other's citizens amid deepening differences between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. The cheering crowd held banners praising Erdogan, while many struggled to shake hands with the Turkish president.

Sandzak, where many people consider Bosnia or Turkey - rather than Serbia - as their motherland, has remained peaceful but tense over the years.

"At a time when global and regional tensions are escalating, we are not going to leave common sense behind", he added.

So far, Erdogan has been careful not to take aim at Trump during the dispute, putting the blame squarely on Bass.

"We have felt at home during this visit to Serbia", Erdogan said.

The spat between the two countries was ignited by the recent arrest of Metin Topuz, a U.S. consulate worker in Istanbul who was accused of suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, who is a Pennsylvania-based cleric blacklisted by Ankara for orchestrating last year's failed coup in Turkey. Gulen denies any involvement.

Ties have also frayed in recent months over the refusal of the U.S. to extradite Gulen, and its support for Kurdish militias in Syria.

Ukraine and Turkey signed on Monday a number of cooperation agreements, including an action plan for development of bilateral relations for 2017-2019, the press service of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

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