Turkey lashes out at US envoy over ousted mayors

Turkey Wednesday blasted the United States' top diplomat in Ankara after the American embassy expressed concern over the ousting of two dozen mayors over suspected links to Kurdish rebels.

In a statement on Sunday, the U.S. embassy in Ankara raised concerns over clashes in the southeast between protesters and police after 28 mayors were suspended mainly for suspected ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The embassy called for early local elections to replace the ousted mayors, who had been elected in 2014 polls, "in accordance with Turkish law."

The statement "is unacceptable, in particular for independent countries," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, attributing the comments to U.S. ambassador John Bass.

Soylu said "the way he (the ambassador) spoke, like he was trying to provoke us ... has upset us." He said the U.S. administration should warn the ambassador.

"That's what we expect because it is not the right approach," he said. "It is a test of sincerity. It is unacceptable."

Source: National News Agency