Turkey's Erdogan says US visit to herald new beginning in relationship

Rescue workers carry a victim of shelling in Deir Ezzor. AFP file

Rescue workers carry a victim of shelling in Deir Ezzor. AFP file

Turkey's president has said he expects his upcoming visit to the USA will constitute a new "milestone" for the troubled relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Turkey's Prime Minister has bitterly criticised the USA government over its support for Kurds fighting so-called Islamic State in Syria just a few days ahead of a summit between Donald Trump and is own president.

United States officials this week announced a deal to directly supply arms to the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia that Turkey has long argued is a terrorist organisation affiliated with its own homegrown Kurdish insurgent group, the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK).

He also said he would pursue "to the end" Turkey's demand for the extradition of the US -based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says was behind a failed military coup last July.

Turkey could also step up air strikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq.

Speaking to reporters today during an official visit to London, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says that the United States has assured Turkey that even though the Kurdish YPG is being used to invade ISIS' capital city of Raqqa, they will not keep control of the city after the battle. Wladimir van Wilgenburg, a researcher on Kurdish affairs who is now writing a book on Syrian Kurds, told The World Weekly the United States administration made this decision despite Turkish opposition as it "wants to finish the Raqqa operation fast".

"I hope that during the meeting of our president next week with President Donald Trump this issue will be changed to a positive trajectory".

The Pentagon said on Tuesday it was aware of concerns in Turkey, which has given vital support to a USA -led campaign against Islamic State insurgents in Syria and Iraq. Without that base, the US would have considerable difficulty operating in the region.

"At the start of entering (Raqqa), of course, as (the USA -led coalition) promised us, there will be support in the form of specialized weapons, armoured vehicles or others", he said. The U.S. and other Western nations also view the PKK as a terrorist group.

"Every single one of these weapons that are being provided to our partner force, we intend to account for them, and to ensure that they are pointed at ISIS", said Dorrian, referring to the Islamic State group.

"The (Syrian Democratic Force), partnered with enabling support from USA and coalition forces, are the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future", White said.

While Turkey has also been fighting ISIS in Syria, Ankara has made it clear that it is also opposed to the Kurdish presence near its border. -Russian cooperation in Syria following the recent phone conversation between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could pose another complication for Erdogan.

The news of the USA directly arming Kurdish forces made worldwide headlines and prompted strong condemnations from Turkey, but it is not that drastic a move. Ankara said the plan was "unacceptable" and a threat to its national security.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be in Washington this week for talks with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the "de-escalation zones" proposed by Russia, Turkey and Iran. "Turkey knows that the USA position is serious". Turkey's prime minister, Binali Yildirim, warned Wednesday that tighter USA ties with the YPG could lead to an unspecified "negative result".

Recommended News

  • Maryland Continues to Shine in 2015-16 APR Scores

    Maryland Continues to Shine in 2015-16 APR Scores

    Ten of OSU's 15 programs demonstrated a positive trend by either matching or outperforming their multi-year rate in 2015-16. While the men's basketball program's April for 2015-16 was alarming (898), its multi-year score remained solid (959).

    Colbert Has Strong Ratings Week After Controversial Comments

    Immediately following this moment and clearly picking up on Colbert's attitude, Stewart pivoted to a more direct response to the FCC controversy.
    Watch the moment Jeremy Corbyn's vehicle  ran over a BBC cameraman

    Watch the moment Jeremy Corbyn's vehicle ran over a BBC cameraman

    Full details and costings for all the policies would come in the next few days, Corbyn said. A Labour spokesperson has described the manifesto as a "draft" version.
  • Businesses ramped up hiring in April as USA  economy regained speed

    Businesses ramped up hiring in April as USA economy regained speed

    Goods-producing employment rose by 21,000 jobs during the month, as gains in mining and logging led the way by adding 10,000. However, those gains were offset by losses in the health-care sector, which shed more than 3,000 jobs to drop to 89,300.
    Hamas says Ismail Haniyeh chosen as Islamic group's leader

    Hamas says Ismail Haniyeh chosen as Islamic group's leader

    Hamas has elected Ismail Haniyeh to lead the terrorist organization and as head of its political bureau. Haniyeh's first task will be to cope with escalating tensions between Hamas and Fatah.

    'American Idol' to return on ABC

    It is unknown whether original host Ryan Seacrest will lead the ABC incarnation. No word yet whether Ryan Seacrest will return as host.
  • Coca-Cola Company (KO): Where do the Charts Think The Stock is Heading?

    Movements above 70 are interpreted as indicating overbought conditions; conversely moves underneath 30 notify oversold conditions. The overall volume in the last trading session was 3.56 million shares, versus the average volume of 1.59 million shares.
    IPhone 8 and 7s Production on Track For Fall Release

    IPhone 8 and 7s Production on Track For Fall Release

    We are looking forward to seeing what Apple launches this year and are interested to seeing the design of this years new iPhone . This means the much awaited iPhone 8 will be unveiled in September and will be available for sale in October.
    Carter Wilkerson has more than 3 million retweets

    Carter Wilkerson has more than 3 million retweets

    The website is how he is raising money for breast cancer charities in northern Nevada. " They made this happen". He did beat Ellen DeGeneres' record, set with a group "selfie" taken by Bradley Cooper at the 2014 Oscars.
  • Justice Karnan moves Supreme Court seeking recall of conviction order

    Justice Karnan moves Supreme Court seeking recall of conviction order

    The Bengal police team has been coordinating with their Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh counterparts and has questioned people. The CJI also asked lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara about the whereabouts of Justice Karnan.
    Trump wants a review of national monuments

    Trump wants a review of national monuments

    Zinke expressed disapproval, in a press briefing yesterday (April 25), of the way national monument designation worked prior to this order.

    Mexico and police chief slam Texas' new 'sanctuary city' ban

    Houston representative Ana Hernandez said she she was undocumented after her visa expired when she was a child. As Latino and immigrant families gathered for Sunday dinner after mass yesterday, Texas Gov.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.