Turkish president slams "impertinence of U.S."

ANKARA -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed the "impertinence" of the United States over the pressure it is exerting on his country.

(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

Washington is pressuring Turkey to allow the use of the Incirlik airbase to U.S. war planes attacking extremists of the Islamic State.

"Why is somebody coming to this region from 12,000 kilometres away? I want you to know that we are against impertinence, recklessness and endless demands," he told a group of businesspeople in Ankara, in what the AFP agency said was "a clear reference to the U.S."

Relations between the United States and Turkey have deteriorated during the past months over the latter's reluctance to join a military coalition fighting against the Jihadis in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden and Erdogan met last weekend in a bid to reconcile their positions, but the meeting ended without any discernible success.

Ankara believes that the Kurds fighting in the town of Kobane should not be given military assistance, but has allowed some 150 Kurdish fighters from Iraq to reach the town.

According to Turkish officials, the danger from the Jihadis would be removed not by mounting air strikes against them - "but by overthrowing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad."