US seeking cooperation with Turkey on 'common priorities'

The State Department said on Oct. 25 it is seeking to work with Turkey on issues of mutual interest following a row that began after the U.S. joined with nine other countries to call for the release of Turkish businessman Osman Kavala.

"The Biden administration seeks cooperation with Turkey on common priorities, and as with any NATO ally, we will continue to engage in dialogue to address any disagreement," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

"We believe the best way forward is through cooperation on issues of mutual interest, and we know that we have many issues of mutual interest with Turkey," he added.

Kavala faced charges over the 2013 Gezi Park protests, a small number of demonstrations in Istanbul that later transformed into nationwide protests which left eight protesters and a police officer dead. He was acquitted of all charges in February 2020. An appeals court, however, overturned the verdict in January.

Kavala is also accused of involvement in the 2016 defeated coup orchestrated by the FETÖ in Turkey. He was remanded into custody on charges of spying in March.

The U.S. joined with nine other countries in demanding Kavala's release on Oct. 18, claiming the ongoing case has cast a shadow over democracy and the rule of law in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he ordered the Foreign Ministry to designate the ambassadors persona non grata in response, prompting several embassies and the U.S. to issue another statement on Monday in which they said they maintain "compliance with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations."

The ambassadors took a step back from slander against the Turkish judiciary and Turkey with the new statement, said Erdoğan.


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