The meeting was already going to be an interesting one.
While Turkey and the US saw their close ties as critical to halting Soviet expansion during the Cold War, their military relations have been more strained since 2003 - when Turkey refused to let the USA use it as a base from which to invade Iraq. This is why the moniker Syrian Arab Coalition was created by the US military in the first place, to create a constant rhetorical and sometimes real distinction between the Arabs receiving USA weapons and ammunition and the Kurds, that Turkey is fearful that the U.S.is empowering.
Turkey itself walks a fine line these days. He says the victims were displaced civilians from Iraq and Syria.
Mr. Trump, in arming the Kurds, may be taking the short way to victory over Islamic State, but this nation's long-term interests require good relations with Turkey. Other reports said Trump could give Erdogan free rein for Turkish attacks against the PKK in Iraq. It said warplanes, thought to belong to the US-led military coalition, hit al-Salihiya village.
Also Friday, Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, reported that three journalists were wounded while covering a government offensive against the Islamic State group in the central province of Homs. The US classifies the PKK as a terrorist group as well, but not the YPG, a militia that the US has worked with for some time.
The step of directly arming the YPG was a step too far for Erdogan. Turkey labels the Kurds as terrorists.
It's tempting to think that Trump was indulging in a typically impulsive decision. "However, the highest level of discussions will be held between President Trump and me". In his capacity as secretary of defense, however, he is charged with finding the most effective ways to fight IS. President Trump hosts Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on Tuesday.
It added the decisions to restructure the terror group in Iran, Iraq and Syria alongside Turkey were taken on October 17, 2003, from Imrali jail where Ocalan remains imprisoned.
Erdogan is expected to ask Trump directly to extradite Gulen. At the same time, Erdogan is hardly dealing from a position of strength.
The United States and Turkey have been North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies since 1952 and Turkey, which straddles the geostrategically important juncture between Europe and Asia, has served as a key base for the US military.
"They say it's a very hard decision. they don't have any other alternatives, so on and so forth", the senior Turkish official said.
'We've been trying to explain this, ' he said. "After that we will make our final decision". Gulen, who has denied involvement in the coup, remains in the United States. The Turkish government undertook similar actions last month, and Erdogan may decide to expand these activities. "The United States is trying to substitute a threat, which is against the West's interests, with a threat against Turkey".
Another unresolved issue from the Obama-era is Ankara's demand for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen. Fed up with what he saw as the Obama administration's wishy-washy Syria policy, its unwise alliance with Kurdish "terrorists" and its failure to understand the need for some of his authoritarian policies, Erdogan envisioned a new dawn in U.S.
Erdogan blamed the coup on Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who lives in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Why is USA support growing? Arslan is portrayed by pro-Erdogan media in Turkey as a high-ranking Gulen follower, something he denies. Erdogan has made many accusations but without much public evidence to support them.
Erdogan was speaking during a visit to China, ahead of his trip to Washington for his first meeting with Trump.
Washington has sought to placate Turkey by saying that the weapons will be metered out carefully, and insisting it still wants to "work with the Turks.to take Raqa down".