Turkey: Trump assures Erdogan "ties are still good" despites divergences
- Author: Leroy Wright May 17, 2017,
May 17, 2017, 23:53
The leaders of Turkey and the United States touted strong ties between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies on Tuesday but the Turkish president emphasized his country will not accept Syrian Kurdish fighters in the region while stopping short of directly criticizing a US decision to arm them. Turkey views the Syrian Kurds as terrorists or supporters of terrorists due to their relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in town to meet President Trump at the White House.
TURKEY'S Kemalist opposition urged the United States to press Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on democracy yesterday after the latest media arrest. It says Syria's Kurds, members of the People's' Protection Units, or YPG, are linked to the PKK group.
Police arrested two people as a result of the brawl, which left at least nine injured and one in critical condition.
Both Turkey and the United States have backed rebels in Syria during the six-year war against President Bashar al-Assad's forces and allies.
The video from Voice of America shows what looks like bodyguards rushing a handful of protesters as D.C. police desperately tried to keep order near the Turkish embassy.
Turkey and the United States have disagreed over US plans to arm Kurdish fighters.
"In the same way, we should never allow those groups who want to change the ethnic or religious structures in the region to use terrorism as a pretext", he added, suggesting that the Kurds were using the anti-Isis fight as cover for separatist nationalism.
Erdogan has instigated a crackdown on journalists and opponents of the state since a failed coup past year. "We will continue to work with our partners at the United States State Department and United States Secret Service to identify and hold all subjects accountable for their involvement in the altercation". It continued a trend of Trump's supporting strongmen, as Erdogan has been criticized for jailing the most journalists of any leader in the world, as well as tens of thousands of political dissidents.
Did the protesters get too close to the embassy building or attack the president's security detail? Erdogan blames Gulen supporters for a failed coup attempt last July and has conducted a crackdown on them, drawing criticism from Washington.
"That's a charge Gulen denies", NPR's Michele Kelemen told All Things Considered on Sunday.