Turkey has summoned US Ambassador to Ankara Jeff Flake to warn of police violence at a demonstration. This was justified by the Turkish Foreign Ministry with a statement from the US Embassy that contained “unfounded statements” about measures taken by the security forces.

The displeasure relates to a security warning from Saturday. The embassy warned that tear gas, water cannon and non-lethal missiles could be used during a Turkish opposition demonstration in Istanbul. She appealed to US citizens to stay away from crowds.

When asked, the US State Department only confirmed “that the ambassador met at the ministry today to discuss the demonstration warning and other issues.”

The priority is always the protection of US citizens. Warnings were therefore not based on political but on security considerations. The appointment of an ambassador is one of the tougher protest measures between two states in the diplomatic field.

Turkey issued a similar-sounding warning to its citizens in the US on Sunday. You should stay away from gatherings, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry in Ankara. Gas and real bullets have been used on such occasions in the past.

Thousands gathered in Istanbul on Saturday to protest a verdict against opposition politician Canan Kaftancioglu. The protest, organized by the main opposition party CHP, ended without incident.