Turkey finds Kerry comments diplomatically wrong

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Associated Press

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 22 at 3:00 PM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey has criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for publicly urging Turkey's prime minister not to visit the Gaza Strip in May.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared his intention to visit Gaza after a trip to Washington on May 16.

Kerry urged Erdogan during a news conference in Istanbul on Sunday to delay the visit saying it was not the right "point in time."

On Monday, Bulent Arinc, the deputy prime minister and government spokesman called Kerry's statement "diplomatically objectionable."

Arinc said it was up to the Turkish government to decide and that his country does not "have to receive permission from anyone."

The deputy prime minister also said no date had been set for the visit.

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