Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Pompeo Stirs Turkey Furor Over Trip Without a Visit to Erdogan

  • U.S. officials say diplomat wants a focus on religious liberty
  • Foreign minister offended by cold shoulder: Turkish official
Michael Pompeo
Michael PompeoPhotographer: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo won’t meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or other government leaders when he visits Turkey next week, a highly unusual situation that U.S. officials chalked up to scheduling conflicts and Turkish officials considered an insult.

U.S. officials briefing reporters Friday on Pompeo’s 10-day, seven-nation trip said he wants to concentrate on issues of religious liberty. He plans to meet in Istanbul with religious figures including Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholowew I, the Greek Orthodox Christian leader, but isn’t traveling to the capital, Ankara.