White House Security adviser H.R. McMaster identified Turkey as a key source of funding for “extremist ideologies” around the world on Tuesday, a rebuke that angered the Turkish government. It’s the latest incident in the deterioration of the U.S. relationship with Turkey, a NATO ally led by the increasingly-authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The allegations made by Mr. McMaster, who is best placed to judge Turkey’s ceaseless combat against terrorism and radicalism in all its forms and manifestations, are astonishing, baseless and unacceptable,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
McMaster didn’t blame the Turkish government directly, but he suggested Turkish sources have financed groups around the world, from the Balkans to western Africa and southeast Asia.
“We didn’t pay enough attention to how extremist ideologies were being advanced through madrassas and mosques, and so-called charities more broadly,” he said, per Voice of America.
McMaster’s complaint came one day before Erdogan hosted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for a summit condemning Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“From now on, it is out of the question for a biased United States to be a mediator between Israel and Palestine, that period is over,” Erdogan said, per Reuters. “We need to discuss who will be a mediator from now on. This needs to be tackled in the UN too.” McMaster’s complaint came one day before Erdogan hosted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for a summit condemning Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.