donderdag 18 mei 2017

Turkey's Erdogan Leaves Empty-Handed From Meeting With Trump

Turkey's media are putting a positive spin on the outcome of Tuesday's meeting of Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan with president Donald Trump. They're emphasizing the friendly smiles and handshakes, as well as the "new awakening" in relations between the two countries, without focusing on the fact that Erdogan left the meeting empty-handed. Erdogan had two major agenda items for the meeting:
# Last week, the US military announced that it would supply weapons to the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) in Syria, as they approach the final battle to recapture the city of Raqqa from the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh). The weapons include small arms, mortars, heavy machine guns, shoulder-fired weapons and ammunition. Turkey says that the YPG are terrorists affiliated with the PKK, while the US military considers the YPG to be the most effective fighting force in Syria against ISIS. Erdogan had hoped to convince Trump to reverse the decision to arm the Kurds, but as far as is known, there was no such agreement. VOA
# Erdogan would like the US to extradite Fethullah Gulen back to Turkey, as they blame him for the failed coup in Turkey July 15 of last year. I've always considered the accusation fanciful, as Gulen is a 76-year-old political enemy of Erdogan, living in the Pocono Mountains in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, as if Fethullah Gulen had directed the coup himself from his easy chair. There have been no reports that Trump has agreed to extradite Gulen. Hurriyet (Turkey)
However, Trump and Erdogan did agree that they should both "fight terror." The meeting between Trump and Erdogan lasted only 22 minutes, suggesting that it might have been simply a preparatory meeting for further negotiations in the future.... Daily Sabah (Turkey), NY Times, Times of Israel and US News