Erdoğan sees progress in Turkey-US relations under Trump

Erdoğan sees progress in Turkey-US relations under Trump

Turkish President Erdoğan says US President-elect Trump will reach a consensus with Turkey over regional issues

News Service Yeni Şafak
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke at the 9th annual Ambassador's Conference held at the Presidential Complex in Turkey's capital, Ankara, emphasizing that he is hopeful of better Turkey-U.S. relations under Trump administration.

President Erdoğan said that he believes Turkey's relations with the U.S. will pick up the pace once President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

“I believe we will accelerate dialogue when Mr. Trump takes office. I believe we will reach a consensus with Mr. Trump, particularly on regional issues," he said.

Relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated sharply since a failed military coup in July.

Turkey has expressed its frustrations regarding the U.S. support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) terrorists, and the failure of the U.S. to extradite Fetullah Gülen.

Turkey is committed to combatting terrorism

“The July 15 coup plot was not the first betrayal of the state recorded in our history. However, with the way it was carried out, it was certainly the most insidious," said Erdoğan.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) is led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, who orchestrated Turkey's July 15 coup plot and is the mastermind behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

“After every terror attack, our people have united in even greater solidarity. We are proceeding with caution and treating members of terrorist organizations with great hesitation," vowed Erdoğan. “Meanwhile, some European countries are welcoming them and treating them as if they are victims," he emphasized.

“While they do not open their doors to Syrian victims, the PKK and FETO are offered asylum on a golden platter. My conscience does not allow me to call them a friend. But this behavior does not suit countries that we call our allies," he continued.

Erdoğan expressed his determination to clear all government institutions of FETO terrorists.

“It is going to take time and effort to root out a terror group that has been growing within our system for 40 years. We will continue to fly our flag with national organizations across Europe and Asia. FETO is continuing to spread anti-Turkey rhetoric in every country it is operating in," he underlined.

“A FETO fugitive who is on Turkey's most wanted list has been appointed the President of an American university," said Erdoğan, alluding to Şerif Ali Tekalan, a medical school professor who was recently appointed president of the Houston, Texas-based North American University, according to a December 19 statement by the university.

Tekalan is on the Turkish Interior Ministry's Most Wanted terrorists list, with a reward of 750,000 Turkish liras ($205,829) for information leading to his capture, over his links to FETO.

Turkey advances its international diplomacy

“We have entered a sincere period [of diplomacy] with the Iraq government. We will continue to work with the Iraqi government to clear Iraq of terrorist organizations," vowed Erdoğan.

“We hope to expand our diplomacy across Africa, Latin America and Asia. Turkish-Russian relations have become even stronger since the downing of the Russian warplane. This is due to our proactive diplomacy," he explained.

The Turkish President also said that Turkey hoped to visit four African countries this month in a bid to strengthen ties with the continent.

Turkey-EU relations

“Admission to the EU is a strategic aim of Turkey, but we cannot turn a blind eye to the double standards we are being held to," said Erdoğan.

Turkey was recognized as a candidate for full membership to the EU in 1999 and negotiations were started in 2005. Out of the 35 chapters required to finalize the accession process, 16 have been opened and one closed.


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