Turkey stops handing over terrorists to U.S., Erdoğan says

Turkey will no longer comply with U.S. requests to hand over persons accused of terrorism, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday.

Ankara recently extradited 12 operatives requested by Washington, but now that cooperation has come to an end, Erdoğan said in a speech at the presidential palace in Ankara, according to newspaper Milli Gazete.

“From now on, whenever you want a terrorist from us, you won’t get him, so long as I am in office,” Erdoğan said.

Relations between the United States and Turkey have soured to their lowest level in decades. Tensions over U.S. support for Kurds fighting Islamic State in Syria and demands by Turkey to hand over U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen have intensified.

Relations entered crisis mode last year after Turkey arrested a U.S. consular employee, prompting Washington to suspend visa services, but they have since restarted.