Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Melih Gökçek shared from his Twitter account on Tuesday the level of economic damage caused by Harvey and Irma hurricanes to the US and prayed that such disasters continue so that they do not have time to fight with Turkey.
The US was hit by the destructive hurricanes Harvey and Irma during recent weeks.
Accusing the US for causing fight and enmity among Muslims, Gökçek said: “The cost of Harvey and Irma hurricanes to the US is $290 billion. Let’s continue to pray, ‘God, give those who are fighting with us such troubles that they forget us.’”
Harvey hit the US two weeks ago, while Irma struck populated areas of central Florida on Sunday.
Relations between Turkey and the US have become further strained after arrest warrants were ordered from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York for former Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Zafer Çağlayan, former general manager of state-run Halkbank Süleyman Aslan, the bank’s assistant deputy manager of international banking Levent Balkan and Abdullah Happani, an employee of Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab.
Turkey’s autocratic President Tayyip Erdoğan described an indictment against Turkey’s former economy minister as being politically motivated and tantamount to an attack on Ankara.
US-Turkey ties have been tense due to Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and it’s armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), despite Ankara’s claims that the YPG is affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Ankara has also been frustrated by what it sees as Washington’s reluctance to extradite the Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Gülen movement strongly denies any involvement. (turkishminute.com)