Lawmakers in Turkey are taking a swing at President Barack Obama after the White House released a photo of him holding a bat during a conversation with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The White House found the dispute serious enough to warrant the issuing of a statement about the controversy.
The conversation between Obama and Erdogan took place on Monday. Shortly after the exchange, the White House released a photo of Obama holding a baseball bat while talking on the phone. It contained the caption, “President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey in the Oval Office, July 30, 2012.”
Umut Oran, vice president of the Republican People’s Party, said the photo was “an implicit insult to Turkey and its citizens.”
Questions have arisen over a possible hidden meaning in the photo.
The White House released this statement:
We released the photo with only one purpose in mind, to highlight the President’s continuing close relationship with Prime Minister Erdogan and draw attention to the important conversation they had about the worsening situation in Syria. The President values his friendship and close partnership with Prime Minister Erdogan on a range of important issues on which the United States cooperates with Turkey.