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Turkish-US Tension:Envoys statement and Bin Laden’s son in law was not arrest given damage to relations

Turkish – US relations are getting worse, in particular Turkey wants to release a well-known leader of Al-Qaeda , and thereaction against US ambassador to the pushes of the United States patience.

Turkish authorities have reportedly rejected a formal extradition request by the United States for a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, who was arrested in Ankara on Friday following a tip-off by the Central Intelligence Agency. Suleiman Abu Ghaith was born in Kuwait but had his citizenship revoked after publicly opposing the rule of the Kuwaiti monarchy and demanding the institution of shari’a law in the oil emirate.

In 2000, he traveled to Afghanistan where he met Osama bin Laden and joined al-Qaeda. He eventually married Fatima bin Laden, one of bin Laden’s numerous daughters, who is currently living in Saudi Arabia.

He gradually rose within the ranks of the organization, eventually becoming one of its public spokesmen.

Soon after the US invasion of Afghanistan, in 2001, Ghaith is believed to have escaped from Afghanistan by entering Iran on foot.

He was eventually captured by Iranian government forces and placed in a detention camp along with other suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban members. It is not known how he managed to leave Iran and enter Turkey (though some say he was released the by Iranian authorities), or how the CIA knew of his presence there. However, according to Turkey’s leading daily Milliyet,the Agency contacted members of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (known as MİT) and told them that Ghaith had entered the country on a forged passport.

He was arrested soon afterwards at a hotel in Ankara’s affluent Çankaya district.

The hotel where Ghaith was captured is reportedly located near the official residence of the Turkish President and a stone’s throw from numerous foreign embassies —including the embassy of the US, which was attacked by a suicide bomber on February 1.

Turkish officials have said that Ghaith’s presence in the Turkish capital was not connected with the attack on the US embassy, which is believed to have been carried out by a secular Marxist group. Interestingly, notes Milliyet, a Turkish judge refused to detain Ghaith because “he had not committed any criminal act while in Turkey” other than entering the country on a forged passport. Soon after his court hearing, Ghaith was turned over to the Turkish military, which deported him back to Iran. In doing so, the Turkish authorities rejected an official US request for Ghaith’s extradition, claiming that they were obligated to return bin Laden’s son-in-law to Iran due to a host of “technical reasons”.

Turkey has repeatedly refused to collaborate with US counterterrorism agencies in recent years, citing concerns about Washington’s alleged favorable treatment of Kurdish interests in Northern Iraq, and its alleged support of Israel in its ongoing dispute with Turkey.

Turkey-US Tension:U.S. envoy received a dressing down from Turkish officials yesterday in the wake of critical comments from the ambassador

The criticisms directed toward Ambassador Francis Ricciardone came in the wake of senior American officials’ reactions to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statements on Israel, as well as their criticisms on the undemocratic nature of the Turkish judicial system.

Meanwhile, Çelik also noted the remarks of U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland, who said earlier this week that the “inflammatory comments” by Turkey’s premier and Foreign Minister Davutoğlu concerning an Israeli airstrike against Syria were “very troubling” to the U.S. It is known that Turkey and U.S. do not fully agree when the issue is Israel, Çelik said. He, however, noted that the U.S. was a friendly country and that the two allies did not have to agree on every issue. Those disagreements do not cast a shadow over the spirit of alliance either, he said.

Deputy Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Hüseyin Çelik also slammed Ricciardone yesterday and the day before, hinting that a warning would be issued to the American envoy at his meeting in the Foreign Ministry. “We are inviting Ricciardone to remain within his boundaries and limits. We are not pleased with [his remarks]; we condemn and denounce them. He should know his place,” said Çelik in televised comments on the private broadcaster Kanal A late Feb. 6.

According to the U.S. Embassy official, Ricciardone and Sinirlioğlu discussed the full range of issues of mutual interest since their last meeting on the day of the terrorist attack on Feb. 1. “The principal question was how to step up bilateral and multilateral cooperation against all terrorist enemies of our two countries, not only DHKP-C but also PKK and al-Qaeda. They discussed prospective high-level visits, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Israel,” the official said.

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