US criticizes 'media attacks against US ambassador to Turkey' over graft allegations

Photo: US criticizes 'media attacks against US ambassador to Turkey' over graft allegations / Turkey

"The continued baseless attacks by some elements of the Turkish media against US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone, other senior US officials, international media representatives, and private American citizens and groups are "deeply disturbing," US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a release on Tuesday, Anadolu agency reported.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused an unspecified group of ambassadors to Turkey of "provocation" and "ruses", calling on them to "do your job" over graft allegations relating to public tenders.

The Istanbul-based operation that was launched on December 17 has led to the arrest of two dozens of high-profile bureaucrats, politicians and businessmen, including the sons of two key cabinet ministers and the head of state-owned lender Halkbank.

Ricciardone said Sunday his country had nothing to do with the anti-graft operation.

"We have made known to Turkish authorities our concerns about such allegations regarding American officials. Turkish officials have assured us that they do not credit such false accusations against individual American officials, including Ambassador Ricciardone," said Psaki.

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