Turkey slams US before Erdoğan and Putin meet on Syria


The past week has been marked by intense diplomacy in New York, where world leaders gathered for the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

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Turkey was represented by a large delegation headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with the participation of senior officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

ErdoÄŸan’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly was deemed moderate by many foreign diplomats who welcomed his announcement that the Turkish parliament would ratify the Paris climate convention in October. From the UN platform, he recommended international cooperation to resolve the various issues arising from the Afghan crisis and the Syrian civil war and stressed that maintaining calm in the Eastern Mediterranean is in the common interest of all parties involved.

But ErdoÄŸan’s consecutive statements to reporters in New York and Istanbul were slightly different. He reiterated that he did not get off to a good start with US President Joe Biden, who came to power in January 2021. In Istanbul, answering journalists’ questions on September 24, ErdoÄŸan accused the United States of supporting the terrorist organizations rather than fighting them. , on the American partnership with the YPG in northern Syria.

This harsh criticism surprised many foreign diplomats who spoke of Turkish-American cooperation in Afghanistan and the intense engagement between officials of the two countries. In New York, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a bilateral meeting for about an hour while presidential spokesman and foreign policy adviser İbrahim Kalın met with the adviser to National Security Jake Sullivan in Washington last week.

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Turkey has long expressed frustration with the continued alliance between the United States and the YPG, designated as a terrorist organization because of its ties to the PKK, but the main current issue regarding Syria is Idlib and not northern Syria. Syria.

In fact, ErdoÄŸan admits this in his September 24 statement. “The Assad regime in Syria poses a threat in southern Turkey,” said the Turkish president, referring to the operations of Assad’s forces in Idlib province where around three million people are staying. Turkey fears that any major military action in the province will lead to a new influx of refugees to Turkey’s borders.

Recalling that he will travel to Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next week, ErdoÄŸan said Syria will be the most important issue on the agenda. He also expressed that he expected different approaches from Russia on Syria as a demand for solidarity, without detailing them.

Note, four Turkish soldiers were killed on September 10 by a radical terrorist organization which would have been created by the Syrian regime to create difficulties for the Turkish troops deployed in Idlib. On September 14, Syrian President Bashar Assad traveled to Moscow to meet with Putin who described the presence of armed forces from foreign countries as the biggest problem in Syria.

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It will therefore be important to hear the messages that will be given by Putin and ErdoÄŸan following their meetings in Sochi and whether Moscow will change its long-standing policy regarding Syria. Equally important, it will remain to be seen whether Turkey undertakes a change in its policy towards Syria and whether ErdoÄŸan’s harsh statements against the Biden administration are linked to it as well.

Serkan DemirtaÅŸ, Erdogan, USA,


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