- President Erdogan highlighted that their strategic partnership has overcome all kinds of difficulties.
- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged that Turkish-American relations were seriously tested.
- Turkish President mentioned that the US did not grant Turkey the desired support and solidarity in fighting the PKK.
On Saturday, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that mutual interests with the United States outweigh their differences and has called for more cooperation with President Joe Biden’s new U.S. administration. Turkish President acknowledged that Turkish-American relations were seriously tested. However, he highlighted that their strategic partnership has overcome all kinds of difficulties.
Erdogan’s conciliatory tone follows his strongly-worded accusations that the U.S. supported Kurdish militants. This had taken place days after the Turkish troops found the noogies of 13 Turkish hostages held by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK in a cave complex in northern Iraq. Meanwhile, Ankara has been infuriated by American support for Syrian Kurdish fighters in combatting the Islamic State group. It is said that they are linked to the decades-long Kurdish insurgency in southeastern Turkey that the U.S. also lists as terrorists.
On Saturday, the Turkish President mentioned that the US did not grant Turkey the desired support and solidarity in fighting the PKK and linked groups. “The US had demanded a clear stance from us,” said Erdogan. He further spoke about the frustration over the continued U.S. residency of Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen was a Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating the bloody 2016 coup attempt. Erdogan said that Turkey wanted Gulen’s extradition. He also denied the allegations of links to the attempted coup. Erdogan’s video message was aired during the launch of a Turkish television channel in the U.S.