Ankara expects Trump to lend support in anti-Daesh fight in Syria
by Daily Sabah with AA
ISTANBULJan 21, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with AA
Jan 21, 2017 12:00 am
Turkey is inclined to look to a brighter and more cooperative future with incoming U.S. President Donald Trump after a frustrating and disappointing term with the Barack Obama administration. Ankara is likely to expect U.S. support both on the ground and in the air in Syria while fighting Daesh.
As Trump takes office in Washington, Ankara hopes the Trump administration will cooperate more effectively on various issues. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Friday congratulated Trump and reiterated Ankara's expectations of him.
"The Turkish-U.S. alliance has a deep-rooted history. We expect some steps regarding [FETÖ leader Fetullah] Gülen's extradition, end of support [to the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG)] in Syria and Iraq in the name of fighting Daesh," he said.
Furthermore, Turkey is confident its relations with the U.S. will improve significantly under President Trump, according to Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on the eve of Trump's inauguration as America's 45th president. The minister met with Trump's Foreign Secretary Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
In remarks made in an interview with the Washington Post on Thursday, Çavuşoğlu said Turkey expects a positive response to its concerns that the outgoing President Barack Obama's administration is believed to have played down.
Ankara has accused the Obama administration of helping the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG). The government has repeatedly asserted that the Obama administration provided arms, ammunition and intelligence support to the terrorist group.
Turkish-U.S. relations have been strained to a great extent due to Obama's insistence on helping the YPG on the ground. Despite Ankara's repeated warnings and suggestions, the Obama administration opted to side with the YPG, which Ankara considers a terrorist group.
The foreign minister pointed out two main issues for Turkey in its relationship with the U.S, including "its request for the U.S. extradition of Fetullah Gülen, the Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric charged with orchestrating last summer's coup attempt, and U.S. dependence on and support for Syrian Kurdish fighters that Turkey considers terrorists." "I am confident that there is definitely a better understanding of both concerns by Trump," said Çavuşoğlu who came to the U.S. for the inauguration and met this week with Michael T. Flynn, the president-elect's designated national security adviser."We need to rebuild mutual trust," Çavuşoğlu said, adding, "Anti-Americanism is on the rise in Turkey.