Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is on a tour to Latin America, skipped one of the stops, Argentina, after autonomous Buenos Aires city cancelled a permission to inaugurate the bust of Ataturk following efforts by Armenians, Turkish foreign ministry said on Sunday, Anadolu agency said.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two-day visit scheduled for later on Sunday had been cancelled, and it hoped Argentina would take steps to remove the shadow cast on Turkish-Argentine relations.
"The trip was cancelled because written permission for the monument given to Turkey beforehand by the... Buenos Aires district was reversed as a result of initiatives by the Armenian lobby, which is opposed to Turkey," it said.
Erdogan was scheduled to pay a two-day visit to Argentina on May 30 and 31. A bust of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of Turkey, would be inaugurated at Jorge Newbury park during Erdogan's visit.
However, the permission granted earlier by the Environment Ministry of the autonomous Buenos Aires federal district has been cancelled after efforts by Armenians who are hostile to Turkey, the ministry said in a statement.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his Argentine counterpart and asked Argentine government to fulfill its commitment to inaugurate the bust.
Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner phoned Erdogan and said Turkey was right to react, however she added that she could not overrule autonomous Buenos Aires administration due to constitution of Argentina.
Erdogan, nevertheless, decided to cancel his trip to Argentina, saying such an attitude was unacceptable.
"Argentine authorities are expected to take necessary steps to remove the shadow cast on relations between Turkey and Argentina after the wrong decision made by autonomous Buenos Aires administration," the ministry said.
"Mr. Prime Minister headed for Chile from Brazil," it added.
AgenciesLast Mod: 30 Mayıs 2010, 18:00