US Embassy in Ankara rebuffs claims they implied assassination of Turkish politician in tweet

ALI ÜNAL @ali_unal
ANKARA
Published 06.01.2017 01:00
Updated 06.01.2017 09:57

As the tension in the country increases with terrorist groups continuing to target civilians as well as making attempts to assassinate politicians, a tweet sent by the U.S. Embassy was considered by Turkish social media users as an implication that more Turkish politicians may be assassinated soon. Hundreds of Twitter users sent tweets that harshly criticized the U.S. in response.

However, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara has strongly denied such claims.

''#tbt Prime Minister Nihat Erim and President Richard Nixon together with their wives at the official state dinner in the White House #TurkishAmericanFriendship,'' the Embassy said in the Turkish tweet on January 5, which was accompanied by a picture of Erim and Nixon that was taken in 1972.

Nihat Erim was the former Turkish Prime Minister of the U.S.-influenced technocrat government that served between 1971-1972, after a 'memorandum' to 'restore order' in the country was issued by the Turkish military. The event is considered as a 'soft coup d'etat' in Turkish political history. During his premiership in 1972, Turkish Marxist-Leninist activist Deniz Gezmiş and his friends -- who had become a phenomena after leading protests against the United States' Sixth Fleet anchored at an Istanbul port --were executed.

In 1980, Erim was assassinated by leftist terrorist organizations to avenge Gezmiş's execution. Erim remains the only prime minister who has been assassinated in Turkey's political history.

Daily Sabah contacted the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, and a senior official said that they had no other intention other than to show how deep- rooted Turkey- U.S. relations are.

''We have found dozens of good pictures in our archives that reveal how multi-dimensional and historical U.S.-Turkish relations really are, and we have started to share with them #tbt hashtags for quite some time. In fact we received very positive feedback in the first weeks,'' the official said. ''We have no other intention and we do not imply anything else,'' the official underscored.

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