Erdogan Welcomes 'Decisive' Trump Meeting Amid Tensions on Syria

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.

Regarding "terrorists", the USA and Turkey do not see eye-to-eye.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope on Friday that his upcoming visit to Washington will constitute a new "milestone" for the troubled relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Turkey's military operation in northern Syria was effectively limited by both the US and Russian Federation, and the whole affair was halted a while ago.

It's a delicate balancing act for Washington to maintain relationships with both the Turks and the Kurds in Iraq and Syria. The opposition has suggested that Erdoğan should have canceled the meeting with Trump.

Erdogan has also made clear he expects steps from Washington over the fate of Gulen, who denies any role in the coup but whom Turkey wants to see extradited and face trial at home. The Wall Street Journal on May 10 reported that the USA was beefing up joint intelligence efforts with Turkey to help the government better target terrorists in the region, according to US officials. If Erdogan can accept that his expectations cannot be realized because of the constraints of US law and national security interests but that he will be treated as an equal and there will be no interference or even harsh commentary regarding his domestic policies, these two birds of a feather should flock together for the mutual benefit of their respective national security interests. One possibility to explore is whether YPG militia could persuade the PKK to call off its current campaign against Turkey and return to the negotiating table.

The Turkish Government considers the YPG to be an integral part of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which both the USA and Turkey designate a terrorist organization.

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Ankara initially had high expectations of the relationship between Erdogan and Trump, preferring to forget the new USA leader's most radical campaign utterances and banking on a strong personal chemistry between the two men. Bozdağ presented new evidence supporting the accusation that Gülen was involved in the attempted takeover as the process between Turkish and US judicial authorities continues in terms of procedure. Now we will have the final meeting, and then we will make our final decision. The U.S. says that supporting the SDF is the only option for defeating the Daesh terrorist group, while Turkey says that an alternative should be formed through local Arab tribes backed by countries in the region instead of supporting the YPG terrorist group.

Ties have also been strained by Turkey's demand for the extradition of USA -based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Turkey blames for last year's failed coup attempt. After a national referendum last month that strengthened Erdogan's presidential powers, European leaders and rights advocates criticized Turkey for moving closer toward autocratic rule.

The White House said after the meeting that Trump raised the incarceration of Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American pastor detained since last October, and asked that the Turkish government expeditiously return him to the United States. His government has insisted it may attack Syrian Kurdish fighters again. The U.S. considers the YPG to be a separate organization, and as an effective fighting force against ISIS, too valuable an operational ally to exclude from the fight against ISIS.

Turkey drew rebukes from the U.S. State Department and Pentagon last month when its warplanes bombed Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq.

"They say it's a very hard decision. they don't have any other alternatives, so on and so forth", the senior Turkish official said.

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