Recep Tayyip Erdogan And Donald Trump Hold Talks

President Trump hosted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on Tuesday

"We offer our compassion to the victims, and we offer our support to the Turkish nation", Trump said.

For his part, Erdogan said: "Taking the YPG and [its political wing] PYD into consideration in the region will never be accepted and will go against a global agreement that we have reached".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan listens during his meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Trump said Tuesday that the USA would ensure the PKK has "no safe quarter".

"There is no place for the terrorist organizations in the future of our region", he said. Turkey considers the YPG terrorists due to their links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, that has been waging a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey.

-Turkish relations, fueled by renewed supplies of US weapons to Syrian Kurds. Long before Trump took office, US presidents have grappled with the fragility of partnering with Turkey's government and the Kurds to carry out a Middle East agenda.

He also voiced appreciation for Turkey's leadership "in seeking an end to the horrific killing in Syria".

The YPG, or People's Protection Units, effectively serves as the military of the autonomous Kurdish-led regions that emerged in northern Syria with the retreat of state authority in 2011 that accompanied the outbreak of civil war.

"The Turks see this as a crisis in the relationship", said Jonathan Schanzer at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

"Right now there are certain moves in the United States coming from the past, such as the weapons assistance to the YPG", Erdogan told reporters at Ankara Airport on Friday, according to Reuters.

Trump has gone out of his way to foster a good relationship with Erdogan. In the process they have come close to some Turkish territory.

The administration of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had criticized Mr Erdogan's crackdown on the Turkish press and academia after the failed coup in July 2016.

Gulen runs an worldwide Islamic social and education network that Erdogan blames for an attempted military coup last summer.

But during their appearance on Tuesday, Trump made no mention of Erdogan's record on dissent and free speech, although they have been areas of concern for some Western leaders.

Those include extraditing the Pennsylvania-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for fomenting a failed coup last summer, and dropping US charges against Reza Zarrab, a Turkish businessman accused of money-laundering and violating USA sanctions in Iran.

"One of the YPG supporters ran across, picked up a megaphone, and hit a Turkish citizen with it", said another pro-Erdogan demonstrator, Busra Eren, referring to the Kurdish militia group.

Ankara has repeatedly asked the United States to hand Gulen over to Turkey.

Police officials reported that nine people were hurt and two others were arrested.

But hopes could have been dashed last week when the Pentagon confirmed that it has increased its support for the YPG by directly arming its fighters ahead of the battle to oust the Islamic State from its de facto capital in Syria.

Related:

Comments


Other news