Common interests with the US outweigh the differences, says Turkish President

The Turkish President indicates that Ankara wants to improve its ties with Washington, which have been severed due to a list of issues.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that Turkey believes its common interests with the US substantially outweigh the differences, and it wishes to strengthen bilateral cooperation on a long-term win-win basis. Noting that bilateral ties between the two countries have been seriously tested, President Erdoğan said Ankara will continue to play a role worthy of the strategic alliance and partnership with Washington.

Bilateral ties between Turkey and the US have been damaged based on numerous issues in the past few years. More recently, Turkey was sanctioned by the US after having purchased Russian S-400 missile defense systems: a move which angered the US as well as its European allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In a phone call made this month, Erdoğan’ foreign policy advisor told his US counterpart the need to resolve the issue. Later, Turkey hired a top US law firm to lobby for its readmission to the F-35 fighter program.

Elsewhere, Turkey has indicated its desire to ameliorate ties, however it requested from the US to stop its support of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. Turkey recently called US Ambassador David Satterfield to its Foreign Ministry after the US’ refusal to condemn the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) in the execution of 13 Turkish citizens in northern Iraq. Even though both Turkey and the US consider the PKK as a terrorist organization, Turkey is angered by the US’ support to the YPG, which it considers as the Syrian branch of the same terrorist group. 

Meanwhile, Turkey has announced the establishment of Turkey’s first US television channel: TASC TV. In the channel’s first 24-hour broadcast, President Erdoğan made a video statement congratulating the TASC staff, and wished all the best for the new TV channel in bringing the Turkish diaspora together. 

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