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Turkish Policy to Force the US Make a Choice Does Not Justify Itself

dpa/imago

Just a few days before the meeting (May 16-17) of the presidents of the US and Turkey in Washington Pentagon announced about the supply of weapons to the Kurdish forces in Syria to fight against the "Islamic State" (ISIS). It became another signal for Turkey, which is too "sensitive" about the Kurdish issue, about the fact that the US continues its policy in Syria, including arming and supporting Kurdish forces in the country.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan hurried to express his dissatisfaction with this decision, claiming that the fight against ISIS "should not be carried out through other terrorist organizations". The United States is aware of Turkish troubles but is not going to change its strategy, considering the Syrian Kurds one of the most effective forces in Syria that can have a decisive role in liberating the town of Raqqa from ISIS.

Erdogan is going to discuss the issue of supplying Kurds with American weapons with the US President Donald Trump during their first meeting in Washington, expressing confidence that "Turkey’s allies would back Ankara, not the terrorist organizations". But the experience of the previous years shows that the Turkish policy to force the US make a choice (not only in case of Kurds, but also in case of Fethullah Gulen as well) does not justify itself: the US is making its choice not in favor of Ankara.

It is obvious that the current tensions will impact the meeting between Trump and Erdogan that have lots of issues to discuss: the Turkish-American relations, recent developments in the Middle East, the role of Turkey in the region and so on.

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