Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday his talks with U.S. President Donald Trump last week were the first occasion in a long time the two NATO allies were “on the same wavelength” and they would speak against this week.
Diplomatic ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained by several disagreements, particularly over the United States’ support for the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group.
“The telephone call which we had with Trump on Friday was the first in a long time in which we got on the same wavelength,” Erdogan said in a speech to deputies from his ruling AK Party in parliament.
He said discussions would continue in the coming days on the issues of the YPG, defense industry cooperation and the fight against the network of a U.S.-based cleric whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating last year’s failed coup in Turkey.
According to Turkey’s foreign minister, Trump on Friday told Erdogan he had issued instructions that weapons should not be provided to the Syrian Kurdish YPG.
However, the Pentagon said on Monday it was reviewing “adjustments” in arms for Syrian Kurdish forces, but it stopped short of halting weapons transfers, suggesting such decisions would be based on battlefield requirements.
Speaking to reporters in parliament after his speech, Erdogan said the Pentagon statement would be discussed at Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) meeting later on Tuesday.
He also said that Trump indicated that another call may happen this week.
“If he doesn’t call, I’ll call,” Erdogan said.
The YPG spearheads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting Islamic State with the help of a U.S.-led coalition.
Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and European Union.
Source: Reuters. Reporting by Ercan Gurses, Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu,; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by DAvid Dolan
Photo: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters after the Friday prayers in Ankara, Turkey, November 24, 2017. Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS