Erdogan still sees Kurdish fighters who fought off ISIS as terrorists and separatists
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that recent talks with U.S. President Joe Biden had proved disappointing, and that his country, a NATO member, would seek closer ties with Russia. Speaking after prayers in Istanbul, Erdogan said he and Biden had failed to bridge their differences at a meeting during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly this week, the Associated Press reported.
“In the discussions with Mr. Biden that I’d been anticipating, there wasn’t the desired outcome. … As two NATO countries, we need to be at a different point,” he told journalists.
Erdogan went on to criticize U.S. support for Kurdish militants in Syria who were instrumental in fighting the Islamic State group. Ankara considers them terrorists due to their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged a 37-year insurgency against Turkey. Turkey has a large and restive Kurdish ethnic minority. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU.
“America is not fighting terrorist organizations enough, it is giving them a lot of weapons and equipment,” he said.
Erdogan is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Sept. 29, where the leaders will concentrate on the situation in Syria.
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