The relationship between Ankara and Washington is “complicated,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Oct. 17, while adding that the U.S. was optimistic about a resolution, amid a diplomatic crisis between the two allies.
“I think our relationship is – no surprise about this – it’s complicated at some times, as are many of our relationships with countries around the world. This certainly complicates matters. I hope and I think we all hope, as a strong NATO ally, as a NATO partner, that we will get through this. We’re optimistic,” Nauert told a press briefing in Washington.
“Secretary [Rex] Tillerson has talked about being a diplomat, you have to be the nation’s top optimist, and I think that probably applies here as well. We’re concerned. We’re following it closely. We would certainly like to see the evidence. We certainly don’t want to have the people we employ be detained in this fashion, and especially detained without evidence, so we will continue to just watch it very closely,” she said.
According to Nauert, the Turkish government has not yet provided any evidence on the arrested Istanbul U.S. Consulate Staff Metin Topuz and another detained staff member regarding charges they face.
“The Government of Turkey claims that they were engaged in some sort of terrorist-type activities. That’s obviously a very serious charge. We’d like to see the evidence on that. We have yet to see that evidence. If they have evidence, by all means, please do provide it, but we have yet to see it, and they are still in custody,” Nauert said.