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Diplomatic incident in Romania: Turkish Embassy objected the role of a US representative

Diplomatic incident in Romania: Turkish consul prevents US Embassy representative from holding speech

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Turkey’s consul in Constanta, Eastern Romania, stopped the deputy of the U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Abigail Rupp, from holding a speech at a religious event of the Muslim community in the city on Tuesday. The U.S. official went on stage, but the Turkish consul asked her to step down because her speech was not included in the event’s program.

The deputy chief of the US Embassy in Bucharest, Abigail Rupp, was not allowed to hold her speech. When she started her speech, the consul of the Turkish Embassy in Constanta, Sulhi Turan asked her to get off the stage because her speech was not included in the event.

Photo by Info-Sud-Est.ro.

At the event of the Birth of Prophet Muhammad (Mawlid) in Constanta which was organized by the Muslim Cult in Romania and by the religious authority in Turkey (Diyanet – Directorate of Religious Affairs), Abigail Rupp was announced on stage to hold a speech after Mufti Yusuf Murat.

When Rupp started her speech Turkish Consul Sulhi Turan, said: “We are sorry, but the speech doesn’t take part in the event.”

The religious affairs attaché of the Turkish Embassy in Bucharest Yunus Akaya, responded: “This is our event. No! You can not make a speech.”

Abigail Rupp said: “Thanks for your hospitality”  and left the stage.

The U.S. Embassy called the incident “regrettable”. “It is unfortunate that the representatives of the Turkish Government have publicly objected to the role of a high representative of the USA and prevented her from speaking at an event celebrating the values of religious freedom and diversity we share in Romania,” according to a statement of the U.S. Embassy.

The Turkish consul in Constanta defended itself by saying that the consul politely explained that she was not in the program. But later on it was understood that Rupp was in the speakers list.

“We apologized, that she was on the list of speakers, the event was organized by Mufti. We are sorry for the attitude of the representatives of the Turkish state, respectively the consul and the two attached on religious services. We also apologize to the US Embassy. We apologize publicly for the incident.” declared, Yusuf Murat.

Constanta is the biggest city in Romania’s Dobrogea region, which is home to a large Turkish and Tatar community.

Abigail Rupp, The deputy chief of the US Embassy in Bucharest

By Hafsa Erdogdu

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