Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Trump urged to prod Erdogan on human rights


Erdogan called the decision to provide USA arms "contrary to our strategic relations to the U.S".

"They have a partial copy of my book and I know it will be coming up" at the White House, Amsterdam said while Trump and Erdogan were having a private lunch Tuesday. The YPG has ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist group.

Turkey has tried to get the United States to extradite Gulen, but hasn't presented convincing evidence to US officials.

The United States sees the YPG as distinct from the PKK and as a valuable partner in the fight against Islamic State.

Turkey has angrily opposed any American support for the Peoples Protection Units, known as the YPG, saying the group is linked to an internationally recognized terrorist organization that has carried out attacks in Turkey. He had not been briefed on it according to the national security advisor. It is a matter of national security which threatens its territorial integrity.

The meeting comes after Mr Erdogan won a hotly contested referendum boosting his powers and as he aims to entice the American leader into major policy shifts to solidify an increasingly strained relationship.

But Gulen is the power behind a sprawling web of schools and cultural centers around which the US government could theoretically find ways to quietly tighten the noose.

"We will continue to talk with Turkey, but in parallel we will have to explore other ways of fulfilling our mandate", Merkel told reporters.

But Erdogan may not be amenable to accepting the USA military support for the Kurds in a quid pro quo.

On the other hand, the US needs the Syrian Kurds in the war against ISIS.

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After the USA election, Erdogan hoped that Trump would be more sympathetic to Turkey's concerns than Obama. "The U.S. would have to make sure that he would get a fair trial back in Turkey".

"Even Donald Trump doesn't want to be influenced by Iran-sanctions violators and rogue regimes", he said. In May 2016, one-third of all refueling and one-fifth of the air support for the global coalition fighting ISIS took place at that air base.

Turkey has been one of the most vocal opponents of Syrian President Bashar al Assad since the civil war in neighboring Syria erupted 6 years ago. This view has been getting stronger and stronger since 2003 and the decision to support the Kurdish militia will only strengthen it.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote Trump Tuesday to ask him to raise human rights with Erdogan, given the increasing repression in his country. And it's these tensions that the White House visit is trying to smooth over.

In Syria, this decision will have devastating repercussions on the future of the country.

But the fate of Raqqa is not the only issue being decided in the fighting in northern Syria. His meetings and disclosures of classified information to a Russian delegation last week are the latest signs of trouble.

The village is about 16 kilometers, or 10 miles, from Raqqa, IS's de facto capital.

This might encourage other minorities with relatively suitable conditions to follow the PYD example.

The U.N. has warned damage to the Tabqa dam - Syria's largest - could lead to massive flooding, and a source who works with the dam's technicians said they had fled the structure as fighting drew near in recent days. Turkey meanwhile has faced a separatist insurgency spearheaded by ethnic Kurds for the past several decades. The goal was simply to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Assad regime before indirectly manipulating it against Turkey. As the Russian, Iranian and Turkish representatives, we will be in touch with the Syrian regime. The city of Manbij in northern Syria is a living example of what might befall other cities where the USA continues helping the PYD to stretch its territorial control.

Such groups will "have no safe quarter", Trump said in the White House's historic Roosevelt Room, where he also commended Turkey's "leadership in seeking an end to the horrific killing in Syria". This demonstrates how the US administrations have been very short-sighted and kept the brutal vicious circle turning.

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