Trump Said Turkey is A Strategic Partner During Pone Call With Erdoğan

Trump reiterates US support for Turkey in call with Erdoğan.

U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated support for Turkey “as a strategic partner and NATO ally” during a phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 7, the offices of both leaders said.

Trump also spoke about the two countries’ “shared commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms” and welcomed Turkey’s contributions to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the White House said in a statement.

The two leaders emphasized that Turkey and the United States were friends and allies, a statement from the Turkish Presidency said.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim previously expected Trump to “correct mistakes staged by the previous administration in efforts to fight terror and defeat Daesh [ISIS] in Syria. What are these mistakes? PYD is an affiliation of the PKK and now the SDF. They are all the same,” he said, referring to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the ruling Kurdish political party in northern Syria, which comprises the majority of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is the armed wing of the PYD and has increased attacks against in Turkey since peace talks failed in 2013.

Turkey’s prime minister also had renewed calls in the first days of Trump’s presidency for the extradition of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States. Turkey’s government has accused followers staging a July 2016 coup to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP)-dominated government.

After the coup, Turkey briefly closed its airspace to warplanes being used in the US-led international coalition to defeat ISIS. The United States and Turkey jointly operate at the Incirlik airbase in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

After Trump’s election, Ankara quickly invited him to visit Turkey