Global News

Erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming Kurds

Erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming Kurds

Erdogan will travel to Washington with demands that are non-negotiable, leaving little room for diplomatic maneuvering.

The press service of President Erdogan reported that the high-level delegation will include the Hulusi Akar, Hakan Fidan, and İbrahim Kalın who held preliminary talks in last week.

The composition of this team already points to the issues at stake.

The choice of allies and partners on the ground and, in particular, the reliance on the Syrian-Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) has put the US-led anti-IS coalition in a direct clash with a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally-Turkey.

Turkey says the fighters are an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. In the absence of a policy in Syria and the counter-terror strategy taken against Daesh, the Obama administration considered the operational outcome of the heavily supported YPG a strategic tool.

"They can solve their problems in their own country", he said, in reference to Turkey. That strike elicited a reprimand from Washington and Moscow, with both characterizing it as "unacceptable".

Turkey responded angrily to a Pentagon announcement this week that the United States would move to equip and arm Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Ties have also been strained by Turkey's demand for the extradition of US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Turkey blames for last year's failed coup attempt. Ankara said the plan was "unacceptable" and a threat to its national security.

Tear gas in France as Le Pen, Macron hold May Day rallies
Some groups want a united front to keep Le Pen from the presidency, but unions fear Macron will dismantle worker protections. Le Pen immediately slammed Macron as the "candidate of continuity" rather than the outsider he positions himself to be.


The news of the meeting came a day after Trump gave the Pentagon the permission to deploy Kurdish militias in Syria as part of a renewed move to drive the Islamic State out of the pivotal city of Raqqa, despite the strong opposition received from Erdogan and the Turkish government.

None of this has deterred Erdogan from upping the ante prior to traveling to Washington, though. Additionally, a video of United States military vehicles seen during a funeral ceremony organized for the people killed in the Turkish airstrikes brought irritation in Ankara (YouTube, April 30).

He said that weapons the White House has approved for the YPG had yet to arrive.

While Turkey could impose limits on the use of the Incirlik base, that would hamper operations against Islamic State, which also menaces Turkey itself and has claimed responsibility for attacks including the bombing of Istanbul airport. Erdogan was quoted by Turkish media as saying he hoped the US decision would be reversed at the earliest possible opportunity. US officials told VOA there was shock earlier this month when a senior Erdogan adviser publicly threatened Washington with accidental Turkish strikes against USA forces working with the YPG in northern Syria.

The city is largely surrounded and it is only a matter of time before YPG and other forces in a Kurdish-Syrian Arab alliance launch an offensive against the city.

This April 30, 2017, photo provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) shows a fighter from the SDF carrying weapons as he looks toward the northern town of Tabqa, Syria. But this step is necessary in order for our forces to liberate Raqqa.

Ulutas says this reveals a lack of long-term planning by Trump, and he reasons that even if Raqqa is liberated in this way, terrorism will increase there, as will US losses. "Turkey knows that the US position is serious".

The bigger worry is Turkey.


  • Inspired Alves leads Juventus into Champions League final

    Inspired Alves leads Juventus into Champions League final

    Beating PSG kept alive Nice's chances of leapfrogging the capital side and snatching automatic Champions League qualification. Kickoff! Monaco face a tall task against arguably the best defensive unit in the world, but they won a corner 30 seconds in.

    'Canelo' Alvarez dominates Chavez Jr., Golovkin next up

    He took two more fights - easy victories over England's Liam Smith and Chavez - before finally agreeing to face Golovkin . Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin made it official after Alvarez's rout of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr . on Saturday night.

    Tillerson says Mexico, Canada ready to negotiate

    Tillerson made that defense while describing how he views Trump's "America First" philosophy as applying to foreign policy. He says over the last two decades, the USA "just kind of lost track of how we were doing".
  • Indians' Corey Kluber placed on 10-day DL

    Bauer threw a season-low 54 percent (50-of-93) of his pitches for strikes. "I don't think I need to catch my breath", Miller said. I missed my spot. "I felt pretty good in the offseason". "Jose got the big hit", Francona said.
    Mumbai spank Daredevils by 146 runs, seals Play-offs spot

    Mumbai spank Daredevils by 146 runs, seals Play-offs spot

    After setting Delhi a daunting 213 for victory, Mumbai proceeded to roll through their opponents, bowling them out for 66. MI, returning to action after a 4-day break, began quietly, scoring at a run-a-ball in the first three overs.
    More rain to end the week

    More rain to end the week

    As some rivers continue to rise to record or near-record levels across the region, another round of heavy rain is in the forecast. We have a Flash Flood Watch in effect for Thursday as more rain is likely.
  • Penguins shut out Capitals in Game 7, advance to East final

    Penguins shut out Capitals in Game 7, advance to East final

    With 3:53 left in the period, Fleury made arguably his best and most important save of the game to preserve the lead. The game lived up to the series hype and was easily the best 60 minutes of hockey the Penguins put together.
    Puerto Ricans in US protest debt crisis with a dash of rhythm

    Puerto Ricans in US protest debt crisis with a dash of rhythm

    Sanchez disputed that opinion, saying that a court-supervised restructuring would actually provide more comfort to investors. Austerity measures meant residents of Puerto Rico - who are US citizens - experienced slashes in government services .
    Eman Ahmed's Weight Loss: PR Stunt Or Unrealistic Expectations?

    Eman Ahmed's Weight Loss: PR Stunt Or Unrealistic Expectations?

    The 37-year-old's sister has said the hospital's claim are bogus and questioned the hospital's claims of her weight loss. Ahmed flew out to Abu Dhabi on an EgyptAir cargo plane at 7.41 p.m."It was an emotional moment for all of us".
  • After SKorean leader eyes North trip, Trump offers US invite

    The system has angered Beijing , which says its powerful radars allow Washington to spy on its military operations. While taking the oath of office Wednesday, Moon said he's open to visiting North Korea under the right conditions.

    May says not taking local election triumph for granted

    Turnout was low; dipping below 30 per cent in some of the polls, which were held for 88 of Britain's 418 local councils. The party's vote was squeezed in Brexit-supporting parts of the country, limiting gains.
    Sydney Airport Holdings declines to develop city's 2nd major airport

    Sydney Airport Holdings declines to develop city's 2nd major airport

    Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president Stephen Bali said the government should unveil its plan for the airport: "Without a plan we are flying blind".