Erdogan criticizes US ambassador for meeting with opposition leader

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Jeff Flake for paying a visit to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party and joint presidential candidate of the opposition alliance.

“We have to give a lesson to America in these elections. [U.S. President] Joe Biden is speaking from there, and his envoy here is visiting Mr. Kemal,” Erdoğan said at a meeting with the Grey Wolves Association in the Bağcılar district of Istanbul late on March 2.

“You are the ambassador. Your interlocutor here is the president. How will you dare to demand an appointment from the president afterward?” Erdoğan said.

The president’s criticisms come a week after Flake visited Kılıçdaroğlu at the headquarters of the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The envoy had also visited ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Numan Kurtulmuş in the middle of March. Kurtulmuş is Erdoğan’s highest-ranking deputy at the AKP.