Trump and Erdoğan: is it all harmony now?

At their meeting in the White House Trump heaped praise on his Turkish counterpart Erdoğan. Commentators discuss whether relations between the Nato partners really have improved.

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Népszava (HU) /

Erdoğan back in the game

The meeting definitely sends a positive signal, Népszava believes:

“The US president first threatened to destroy the Turkish economy, then he called the Turkish leader a 'tough guy who deserves respect'. Against this backdrop the mere fact that the meeting took place at all, after being postponed for so long, is significant and means that the chilly relations are starting to thaw. The meeting was also useful to the Turkish president because it allowed him to show that he is by no means a pariah in the international community, and that not even the most challenging controversies can erode strategic alliances.”

T24 (TR) /

Row over missile system put on the back burner

The Russian S-400 missile defence system which Turkey recently acquired is the main cause of friction, T24 points out:

“Until the meeting between Erdoğan and Trump, people in Ankara were sure the Senate would give its blessing for the sanctions but Trump would impose his veto or key articles wouldn't be applied. However, Trump doesn't think like that at all. He has indicated - stated, in fact - that he will not remain inactive if Turkey deploys the Russian-made missiles. ... But it seems an interim solution has been found. A commission of security advisors is to be set up to look for a solution to the S-400 problem. How long will that take? It isn't clear.”

HuffPost Greece (GR) /

Greece must be on guard

Writing in HuffPost Greece, political scientist Kostas Lavdas is alarmed at the fact that Trump and Erdoğan appear to be hitting it off well:

“The Trump presidency is becoming a serious challenge for Greece's national interests. ... What we need now is rapprochement with France. ... Our relations with Moscow must improve. And our ties with Israel must be reinforced as much as possible. It is essential - and here some positive things are happening, for example with China - that Greece becomes a location for investments of all kinds.”

L'Obs (FR) /

Nato gradually becoming aware of the problem

L'Obs reminds readers that Ankara is currently facing Nato with considerable problems:

“Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Turkey is a Nato member and brings together all of today's strategic contradictions: increasing authoritarianism, unstable alliances, unilateralism, political Islam. ... If there is a 'Turkey problem', it is coming to light now and forcing all players to take a stand. Turkey is also the reason behind Macron's controversial interview with the British weekly The Economist on November 7, in which he said that Nato was 'brain dead'.”

Kommersant (RU) /

Leaders of different calibre

For Kommersant, Trump is well ahead of his Turkish counterpart in several respects:

“If Trump's behaviour can be read as a lesson on how to break apart and transform the world, Erdoğan's behaviour is more like a manual on how to survive. ... A good illustration of Trump's approach is the leak about a 100 billion dollar deal he supposedly wanted to sign with Erdoğan - even though he only recently said he wanted to destroy the latter's economy. Trump loves hanging impressive price tags on his international initiatives. That way they can be more easily sold to his public back at home.”

Sabah (TR) /

Real progress has been made

Pro-government daily Sabah voices relief after the meeting between the two leaders:

“ President Erdoğan's words will put Turkish-American relations back on track after an arduous process. ... Despite the economic, bureaucratic and political sabotage of opposition figures who have dug themselves in on the other side of the Atlantic, in Europe, in the Middle East and in our country, Mr Erdoğan and US President Donald Trump have made real progress on many issues. Yesterday's summit shows that relations between the US and Turkey will follow a new roadmap from now on. For Turkey, of course, the key topic is ensuring that the risk of a terrorist state in the north of Syria is completely eliminated.”

Sözcü (TR) /

Erdoğan didn't really achieve anything

The outcome of the visit is certainly no grounds for celebration, the Kemalist daily Sözcü rejoins:

“Were any secret deals made, as the American press claims? If so, what are they? Did anyone talk to Trump about his ugly blackmailing regarding having the assets of certain Turkish politicians investigated? ... What comes after the US House of Representatives' decision on the Armenian genocide and sanctions? Has the US agreed to stop helping the hostile YPG/PKK? There are many more questions, yet nothing has come of them! We must ask the [Erdoğan-] supporters who are touting the US trip as a victory: what is the really going on? We shouldn't kid ourselves. We should give up this glorifying mood and face the bitter truth!”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Many obstacles to reconciliation

Rzeczpospolita doesn't believe relations between the US and Turkey will improve in the foreseeable future:

“The Syria conflict is by no means the only item on the long list of problems between Turkey and America. Ankara has never withdrawn its request for the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, a Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher whom Ankara holds responsible for the failed coup attempt in 2016. And in the US capital the atmosphere has long been unfavourable for a reconciliation with Turkey. Only recently, a large majority in the House of Representatives recognised the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as genocide, in reaction to Turkey's brutal actions against the Kurds in Syria.”