US Embassy denies claims against US envoy

The US Embassy in Ankara says the allegations against the ambassador 'do not reflect the truth'.

The US Embassy in Ankara says the allegations against the ambassador 'do not reflect the truth'.

ANKARA - The U.S. Embassy in Ankara once again refuted allegations in the Turkish press that reported Ambassador Francis Ricciardone as saying in December 2013, "now you're watching the fall of an empire."

A statement issued on Wednesday by the American Embassy in Ankara stated, "We are deeply sorry to see some media organs insistently publish the imputed statements of Ambassador Francis Ricciardone saying 'now you're watching the fall of an empire'. As we have mentioned several times before, these kinds of allegations do not reflect the truth and the ambassador has never made such a statement."

Following the anti-graft operations in Istanbul in December, Turkish media claimed the US ambassador in Turkey held a meeting with some European Union ambassadors. Some Turkish media claimed that during this meeting Ricciardone said, "We wanted them to terminate Halkbank's transactions with Iran. They didn't listen to us. Now you're watching the fall of an empire." 

Halkbank is a state-owned bank which administered financial transfers between the Turkish government and Iranian sellers of oil and gas.

The US Embassy in Ankara also recalled the "deep-rooted past" of positive Turkish-American relations, and expressed hope the "baseless story will not damage the close and multidimensional cooperation between the two countries."

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