Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declared that Ankara will either mend relations with the United States or will break apart from its alliance with Washington completely. The Turkish top diplomat reiterated Ankara’s position, in which it expects concrete steps from the United States to restore conference in its long-time NATO ally – that after Washington refused to abandon the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes the Kurdish YPG militia, a militant group viewed by Turkey as a terrorist organization.
FM Cavusoglu said, “We do not want promises anymore and we want concrete steps. And in order to discuss certain issues with the United States, I have said this repeatedly before, confidence needs to be restored. The reason for the loss of confidence in the United States because Turkey has never done and will never do anything wrong to any allies, friends, countries. But we have seen very serious mistakes and wrongdoing from our ally, the United States,” the Turkish top diplomat declared during a press briefing.
Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin has increased tensions between Ankara and the United States. Since the start of the incursion, dubbed “Operation Olive Branch”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asserted that “Turkish forces would push east toward the city of Manbij,” potentially putting them in confrontation with American troops deployed there, as part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State. In addition to the rift pertaining to Syria; Ankara and Washington have also sparred over visa restrictions, a U.S. reluctance to hand over Fetullah Gulen whom Turkish Authorities blame for a coup-attempt in July of 2016, and President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move resolutely opposed by Turkey.
The comments by the Turkish top diplomat came ahead of his anticipated meeting with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson.