How good are Turkish-US relations?
US President Donald Trump promised to support Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the fight against terrorism during the latter's visit to Washington. Trump, however, did not address the topic of the arming of Syrian-Kurdish fighters. Turkish media take opposing views of his pledge.
A promising start
The former television presenter and columnist Melih Altınok expresses satisfaction with the results of the meeting in the pro-government paper Daily Sabah:
“Trump's messages in response to Erdoğan's emphases were extremely positive. I define them as extremely positive because Trump is as moderate and sincere as possible despite the domestic alliance that imposes the Barack Obama period's harming policies on him. Trump's message is that he understands Turkey's concerns, saying that he supports Turkey in its struggle against terrorist groups, such as the PKK and Daesh, and provides assurance regarding not leaving a safe area to terrorist groups. He also affirmed that deep-rooted cooperation and alliance between the two countries is indispensable for the U.S. ... I think we can already say that the Turkish president and the U.S. president, whose people have the same enemy, have made a good start.”
Forget the illusions!
For the Kemalist paper Sözcü, by contrast, this was an unproductive meeting that won't lead to Turkey's demands being met by the US:
“Every three days or so the president or prime minister of a foreign country is received at the White House. And they all hear the same message: 'We believe that the friendly relations between our two countries will continue...'. The same words were used with Mr Recep [Erdoğan]. Our government team had two very important demands for the US: we don't want a Kurdish state on our border; the US government should stop backing the [Syrian-Kurdish] PYD with weapons. And Fethullah Gülen should be handed over to Turkey. Now it's almost certain that neither of these two demands will be met. A Kurdish state is being built on our border. And more importantly from our government's point of view, Gülen will never be extradited.”