Erdogan in poll campaign heat targets US as envoy meets political rival

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said upcoming elections should be a “lesson to the United States,” his most explicitly anti-western comment of the campaign so far as he tries to consolidate nationalist support ahead of the vote.

“We have to give a lesson to America in the May 14 elections,” state-run Anadolu Agency cited Erdogan as saying in Istanbul on Sunday, criticizing a visit by US Ambassador Jeff Flake to Erdogan’s main electoral rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

“You are an ambassador. Your interlocutor here is the president,” Erdogan said during a visit to a nationalist youth group. “How will you ask for a meeting with the president from now on? Erdogan’s door “has been closed to him,” the president added.

The US envoy visited Kilicdaroglu in Ankara on March 29 “as part of continuing conversations with Turkish political parties on issues of mutual interest,” the US Embassy said in a Tweet.

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