Trump says he will have long, hard discussion with Turkey's Erdogan

Trump says he will have long, hard discussion with Turkey's Erdogan

Trump says he will have long, hard discussion with Turkey's Erdogan

As Erdogan heads to the United States for his first meeting with Donald Trump, Turkish opposition members and human rights defenders are urging the USA leader to raise the issue of Turkey's deteriorating human rights and democracy.

"President Trump's recent election victory has led to the awakening of a new set of aspirations and expectations and hopes in our region and we know that by the help of the new USA administration these hopes will not be lost in vain", Erdogan stated.

"The Turkey that I once knew as a hope-inspiring country on its way to consolidating its democracy and a moderate form of secularism has become the dominion of a president who is doing everything he can to amass power and subjugate dissent", Gulen wrote.

Western officials and media tend to downplay the PYD threat by drawing an imaginary distinction between the PYD/YPG and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"We support Turkey in the first fight against terror and terror groups like ISIS and the PKK, and ensure they have no safe quarter", Trump said.

But Turkey has never offered persuasive evidence that Gulen was involved in the coup, and extradition is likely to be blocked by US courts.

Turkey, however, sees them as terrorists, because of their ties to Kurdish fighters in southern Turkey who have been waging an insurgency to carve out their own independent state for years.

Among other allies in Trump's orbit who have pushed for a softer line on Turkey is his former national-security adviser Michael Flynn. It is a matter of national security which threatens its territorial integrity.

The meeting comes amid strained relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

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.

Turkey, predictably, has been livid over the United States decision. Congress does exercise vital checks and balances on USA presidential power, and its members are likely to puncture the notion that America will offer only uncritical support for Erdogan's tactics.

"Washington, on the other hand, has made it amply clear that Turkey's demands are unlikely to be met because the US has firm positions, or obstacles it can't overcome, that make it very hard to please Ankara", Idiz said.

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The U.S.is pushing ahead with arming Syrian Kurds after deciding the immediate objective of defeating Islamic State militants outweighs the potential damage to its partnership with Turkey.

Trump's willingness to partner with authoritarian rulers and overlook their shortcomings on democracy and human rights has alarmed USA lawmakers of both parties. "Just as in the cases of Duterte, al-Sisi, and Lavrov, Trump's inevitable back-slapping with another authoritarian will undermine America's moral standing and long-term global leadership".

But the White House views the YPG as a key partner in the fight against Islamic State, and separate from the PKK. "Let's see if USA foreign policy can be bought".

That work can get started at the White House on Tuesday, though it certainly will not be easy.

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

In April, Washington appeared to be meeting Ankara half way in Syria, by launching an attack on Assad's air force, as well as calling into question the viability of the Assad regime.

But the fate of Raqqa is not the only issue being decided in the fighting in northern Syria. A senior European intelligence official told The Associated Press his country might withhold information from the USA if it confirms Trump shared classified details with Russian Federation.

With the formation of the SDF, Washington began channeling more direct support to the anti-IS fighters on the ground in Syria.

The Kurdish force is for years Washington's most reliable ally in the region against the Islamic State (IS). The move was a clear signal to Ankara that Washington had rejected its plan to have Turkish forces and allied Arab rebel proxies lead the fight to retake Raqqa, ISIL's self-described capital.

"We have suggested other solutions", Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last week.

The operation had the dual goals of targeting IS and the Kurdish militia, particularly to prevent the YPG from controlling a contiguous strip of territory along the Syria-Turkey border.

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