Turkish President denounces Biden administrator as ‘arm in arm’ with terror

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inflammatory comments calling US officials linked to “terrorists” came after Turkey held high-level meetings with Moscow.

Turkey opposes the US role in eastern Syria, where the US helped local Syrian Democratic Forces defeat ISIS. The ruling party in Ankara, which has supported extremists in northern Syria and ethnically cleansed Kurds, Christians and Yazidis, has often criticized the United States in the past.

Turkey singled out US White House coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk in Erdogan’s recent attack on the Biden administration. Turkish pro-government daily Daily Sabah said Erdogan “was speaking to reporters on his return from Sochi, where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.”

“McGurk supports terrorism and has almost become the director of the PKK / YPG / PYD,” Erdogan said.

“It disturbs me deeply that this man is arm in arm with terrorists in an area where I am fighting them,” he reportedly said.

The comments were reported in mainstream Turkish media, indicating that the ruling party wants the comments to be widely known.

Turkey has criticized McGurk and Biden in the past. During the 2020 US election campaign, Ankara and its media, which are almost all linked to the ruling party, often criticized Biden and were openly pro-Trump.

Turkish leader Erdogan had a close relationship with Trump and often tried to use the media to gain favor from the United States, for example by trying to portray the homeless as linked to “Antifa” during riots in the United States. United.

In 2018, Turkey accused the United States of training terrorists in eastern Syria. When Ankara uses the term “terrorists” it frequently refers to the Kurdish far-left political groups. There is no evidence of “terrorism” on the part of these groups in Syria.

Brett McGurk, US envoy to the Coalition Against ISIS, speaks at a press conference at the US Embassy in Amman, Jordan, November 6, 2016. (REUTERS / MUHAMMAD HAMED)

The United States considers HTS, an al-Qaeda-linked group that has worked with Turkey in Idlib province, to be a terrorist group similar to ISIS.

The United States has also sanctioned Ahrar al-Sharqiya, an extremist group supported by Turkey, for the abuses committed in October 2019 when Turkey invaded and occupied part of northern Syria.

This means that Turkey and the United States seem to accuse each other of supporting terrorists. The main difference is that groups like Ahrar al-Sharqiya and HTS have engaged in terrorist activities against civilians, crushing dissent and murdering and harassing minorities and women. The US-backed SDF did not engage in documented terrorist attacks in eastern Syria.

Turkey claims the SDF is linked to the PKK, which Turkey and the United States consider a terrorist group. Turkey has invaded part of northern Iraq to fight what it claims to be the PKK. Turkey has also launched numerous airstrikes against Yazidi minorities in Sinjar, Iraq, claiming to fight terrorism.

In one case, Ankara bombed a medical facility. It is not clear why Ankara’s claims to fight “terrorism” often coincide with the bombing of minorities in Iraq and Syria and the perpetration of attacks against Christian, Kurdish and Yazidi minorities.

The recent comments attacking McGurk, a key member of the Biden administration’s Middle East team, are aimed at creating a divide with Washington and showcasing Ankara’s close relationship with Moscow. Ankara appears to be dropping any pretense that it could work with the United States now in Syria, using the usual rhetoric of intimidation and hate that underlies the way Ankara treats the United States. Ankara does not use such language with Iran, Russia, or other authoritarian regimes it prefers.

Under Erdogan, Turkey drifted towards increased authoritarianism, suppressing minorities, women, LGBT rights activists and the media. It also manifests itself in support for Hamas and anti-Israel and anti-American comments.

It is not known whether the United States will respond to the incitement against McGurk and the United States administration by Turkey, which claims to be a “NATO ally” of the United States.



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