President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is in Washington, D.C. today for a highly anticipated meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. There are many issues on the two leaders' agenda, including Turkey's procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Washington's relationship with the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian branch and the fight against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Turkish-American relations are experiencing the heavy burden of Washington's alliance with the People's Protection Units (YPG), as the YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group, which Turkey has been struggling against for the last four decades. This vision will not change any time soon despite Washington's denial of the PKK-YPG connection. There are many other significant obstacles to the normalization of Turkish-American relations but Washington's flirt with the YPG is the most controversial one.
Another important meeting in Washington between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to be held next week. The state of Turkish-American relations and the crises between the countries make this meeting more critical than any other to date between the two leaders.
U.S. President Donald Trump changed his mind about pulling American troops out of Syria – again. The latest reversal of policy reflects the Pentagon's concerns that the U.S. withdrawal will play into the hands of Russia and Iran. The return of U.S. servicemen to Kobani and Qamishli, and the military buildup in eastern Syria suggest that the White House is on board.