Turkey – (warsoor) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he believed relations with Washington would improve under President-elect Donald Trump and that the two NATO allies would reach an easier consensus on regional issues.
Ties between the United States and Turkey – which has the second largest army in the NATO alliance and is key to the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq – have deteriorated sharply since a failed military coup in July.
Erdogan and the government blame the abortive putsch on Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and want him extradited. Gulen denies involvement in the coup.
“I believe we will accelerate dialogue when Mr Trump takes office,” Erdogan told a conference of Turkish ambassadors. “I believe we will reach a consensus with Mr Trump, particularly on regional issues.”
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the envoys he believed Trump would not make what he called the same mistakes as the outgoing U.S. administration. Washington should extradite Gulen and end cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.
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