The Turkish government should present evidence that the arrested U.S. consular staff was involved in terrorist activities, U.S Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a briefing on Thursday.
“We have two of our locally employed staff in Turkey who have been detained. We would call upon the government of Turkey to please provide us that evidence – if there is evidence – that they were involved in what Turkey alleges and that is terrorism,” Ms. Nauert stated.
The spokesperson said Washington would also like for these detained individuals to see their lawyers. She added that Turkey summoned another locally employed staff, but authorities haven’t presented the evidence in that case either.
“We also have some very real concerns about whether or not Turkey intends to cooperate with the United States in terms of their investigations,” Ms. Nauert said.
She noted, however, that the U.S. hopes the crisis in the relations with Ankara will be resolved soon.
“We would certainly like our relationship to improve. This is very much tension on our relationship right now. I think there is no question about that,” the spokesperson said.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday Turkish and U.S. officials would meet in the coming days to discuss the ongoing dispute between the two sides that resulted in the suspension of nonimmigrant visa services.