Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

United States still seeking explanation for arrest of staff in Turkey - ambassador

Total trade between Serbia and Turkey should reach $1.2 billion (1 billion euro) in 2017, RTS quoted Erdogan as saying during a business forum in Belgrade organised within the framework of his official visit to Serbia.

"The notion that people in our employment are facing or are under suspicion of terrorism charges here, that is a very serious allegation", Bass said.

The man's wife and daughter were detained over alleged links to the network of US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, Anadolu said, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating the abortive putsch. Gulen has denied any role in the failed coup.

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass on Wednesday demanded Turkey provide clear evidence for linking a detained consular staff to illegal activities, amid an ongoing diplomatic crisis.

Erdogan said that the current trade exchange between the two countries of $800 million (682 million euros) "is not enough" and that it should rapidly grow in the near future.

Turkey-Russia rapprochement as well as Ankara's intention to buy modern S-400 Triumph air defense systems from Russia cause concerns in the United States, Gungor Gokdag, expert and columnist for the Turkish newspaper ZedLife, told Trend.

Turkish authorities, commenting on the arrest of the Consulate General's employee, noted that he had links with the movement of Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of being involved in the 2016 military coup attempt in Turkey.

U.S. -Turkish tensions have risen in recent months over U.S. 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. "To the best of our knowledge there are not any outstanding requests from Turkish law enforcement officials for any of our local staff to come in and talk to them", he said.

Bass is soon to leave Turkey for Kabul to take up his new post as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

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