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Erdogan will not alter US ties to Kurds

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Subject

The Erdogan-Trump meeting on May 16.

Significance

Turkey yesterday blamed US officials for "security lapses" during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington last week, which turned into a media disaster when the Turkish president’s guards beat up demonstrators in front of the TV cameras, with Erdogan looking on. The visit to meet President Donald Trump failed to produce any breakthrough on the issues dividing them, despite a friendly meeting at the White House. Although Trump is outwardly much more sympathetic to Erdogan than his predecessor was, the two countries are still far apart on Syria, where the United States remains the protector and ally of the Syrian Kurds.

Impacts

  • Turkey will continue to fortify the strip of land it occupies in northern Syria.
  • It will step up training and support for the Sunni Arab rebel Free Syrian Army.
  • Erdogan will respond to his increased international isolation by further clampdowns on remaining critics in Turkey.
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