President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday was so effective, sincere and bold that most of the audience felt nothing but empathy for the problems he addressed.
He drew attention to global injustice; mentioned Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old boy who died on the shores of Turkey after drowning during an immigrant boat incident, by showing a picture of his dead body; brought out maps of Israel where violations of land are obvious; discussed the immigration problem; remembered Kashmir and Afghanistan; and touched on many other global issues.
"We can ramp up the number of Syrians safely returning to their country to 3 million if the peace corridor is extended to the Deir el-Zour-Raqqa line; I call on U.N. members to back Turkey's efforts to ensure security in Syria's Idlib," he said.
And he also reminded everyone present about Turkey's generosity toward immigrants, where it hosts nearly 5 million displaced people.
Erdoğan's remarks were especially vital in addressing the Syrian problem. Unfortunately the world has mostly been blind to the tragedy in Syria. After eight years of conflict, there have been thousands of deaths, injured and displaced. Most of them are in Turkey. It is a huge burden on a country's shoulders and President Erdoğan was able to explain this burden and the responsible attitude of his country in dealing with this problem.
Erdoğan's remarks also covered the Kashmir issue. He criticized the international community for not paying attention to the problem. He also pointed out that the stability and prosperity of South Asia cannot be separated from the Kashmir issue.
The speech was a summary of the global problems concerning the oppressed. He reviewed the interventions in Yemen and Qatar and added that Turkey hopes to ensure security and stability in Libya.
One day after his speech, on Wednesday, President Erdoğan met with U.S. President Donald Trump at Trump's reception.
Erdoğan said in an interview he gave to Reuters a couple weeks ago that he would discuss buying Patriot missiles with Trump when they meet at the U.N. General Assembly. So one of the topics was the Patriot issue. Sources say that the meeting was warm and friendly. It is known that the two leaders get on well, and it is Trump's effect to hinder possible sanction decisions on Turkey after its purchase of the S-400's.
We will learn about the details of their meeting later, but it is not hard to guess that they discussed the problematic issues between the two countries starting with the S-400s, the sanctions, the idea of buying Patriots, the safe zone in Syria and the future of the relations.
All in all we can say that U.S.-Turkey relations have been going through tough times but in New York, we saw Erdoğan seeking to make constructive deals and working to hinder sanctions.
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