Beginning in relations between United States and Turkey
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that his visit to the United States next week would herald a new beginning in relations between the two countries. Relations between the NATO allies have been strained by differences over Syria policy. U.S. President Donald Trump approved a plan on Tuesday (May 9) to arm the Syrian Kurdish YPG in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), a move which was strongly objected by Turkey, which sees the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Erdogan told a news conference at the capital Ankara that he believed the United States was still going through a “transition period”, and that decisions such as the arming the YPG dated back to policies from the previous administration. He also said he would pursue Turkey’s demand for the extradition of the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara says was behind a failed military coup last July. That was followed by a purge of tens of thousands of Turkish state employees accused of links to Gulen, who has denied any involvement in the coup attempt.