US State Secretary’s Istanbul Visit Was Provocative, Showed Lack of Respect for Turkey, General Says

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s apparent unwillingness to meet with Turkish officials during his visit to Istanbul is nothing short of a diplomatic snub amid simmering tensions between Washington and Ankara, believes Naim Baburoglu, a retired Turkish general.

On 16 November, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on a seven-country tour of Europe and the Middle East, arrived in Turkey’s commercial capital Istanbul to hold a meeting with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, which was scheduled for the next day.

After spending an hour and a half in the patriarchate on Tuesday, Pompeo visited the Rustem Pasha Mosque and continued his diplomatic charm offensive without meeting with any state officials during his Turkish leg. Citing an unnamed Turkish official, Bloomberg wrote on 13 November that the US Secretary of State had declined an invitation by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to come to Ankara and instead asked Cavusoglu to come to Istanbul to meet him.

‘Pompeo’s Move Can’t be Viewed Separately From White House’s Stance’

During the first leg of his international tour, Pompeo met with French officials including President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, but only met with only met with Patriarch Bartholomew in Turkey, says Naim Baburoglu, a retired Turkish general, military strategist and academic at Istanbul Aydin University (IAU).

​”Pompeo, who also plans to meet with government officials [in Israel, Georgia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi…

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