Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump meet in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, November 13. Kadir Ustun, Executive Director at SETA Foundation DC, discusses Erdogan-Trump summit, what President Erdogan has achieved in this visit.
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.
Tensions between Turkey and the United States are re-escalating. Washington is inclined to delay the Aug. 7 agreement on the creation of a safe zone in northeastern Syria. In other words, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is effectively ignoring U.S. President Donald Trump's pledge to establish a 20-mile safe zone and seeks to stall the process – as it did in Manbij.