U.S. President Donald Trump said on Nov. 13 that Turkey's purchase of a Russian missile defense system had created a "very serious challenge" for the U.S. Turkish President Erdoğan said the two countries could only overcome their dispute on the S-400s and F-35s through dialogue.
Senator Mitch McConnell has urged the U.S. not to "turn a cold shoulder to Turkey" and work with its NATO ally. "Turning a cold shoulder all together would be a major strategic mistake and would jeopardize our national security and our interests,” McConnell said.
A group of protesters held a demonstration at noon on Nov. 13 at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, to protest Turkish President Erdoğan's visit to the U.S. The last time Erdoğan visited Washington, his bodyguards were caught on video beating demonstrators at Sheridan Circle.
Turkish-Soviet relations expanded from economic to military affairs only when the U.S. Congress imposed an arms embargo on Ankara in 1975. The White House and the State Department opposed actions that would alienate a NATO ally, but Congress sought to punish Turkey for its operation on Cyprus in 1974. Today more sanctions from the Trump administration, especially if they are cast broadly enough to significantly harm the Turkish economy, will dramatically strengthen anti-Americanism.
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has accused U.S. President Donald Trump of making his personal interests guide his foreign policy decisions, as he said that there is a personal or business relationship dictating Trump’s position on Turkey because none of his advisers are aligned with him on the issue. The Trump Organization has a property in Istanbul, and the president's daughter Ivanka Trump attended the opening with President Erdoğan in 2012.
Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have once again been accused of committing human rights violations, with military officials of the U.S. having drone footage that appear to show several incidents that civilians were executed. Some in the U.S. military who saw the American drone footage said the video, combined with initial, internal military reports, raised strong concerns about apparent war crimes, several U.S. military officials said.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has voiced his support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that "our prayers are with the Turkish delegation in the U.S." Bahçeli's remarks came hours before the meeting between Erdoğan and Trump, which was described as "meaningful and important" by the MHP leader.
The United States has urged Turkey to look into the reports of human rights violations and war crimes that took place at the hands of Ankara-backed rebels during Turkey's Operation Peace Spring, while citing the killing of Syrian Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf as an example of the incidents. Washington also asked Ankara to investigate the reports of usage of chemical weapons, specifically white phosphorus.
The European Union has criticized Turkey for the rearrest of prominent journalist Ahmet Altan a week after his release. "Media freedom and freedom of expression are key to a functioning democracy. The EU has at all levels and in all fora expressed its opposition on the persistent erosion of press freedom in Turkey and, in particular, at the high number of journalists imprisoned there," the EU said.
France's foreign minister said on Nov. 12 that the country will take back 11 suspected French ISIS militants from Turkey. The deportations will be conducted within the framework of a 2014 agreement with Turkey, said Christophe Castaner.
An ISIS militant has been waiting in the buffer zone between Turkey and Greece after being deported by the former and rejected by the latter. The U.S. citizen militant is among the first jihadists that Turkey deported, as the repatriation of ISIS members has become a subject of debate due to the European countries stripping them of their citizenship in order not to take them back.
The city council of the Karabun district has voiced its opposition a plan devised by the Izmir governorate to launch a tender for the rental of a geothermal field in the area. Reminding that Karaburun is home to around 120,00 olive trees, the council said geothermal energy plants in the nearby provinces of Aydın and Denizli have led to environmental destruction.
A key member of the Union of Turkey Bar Association (TBB) resigned from his post after a call for an extraordinary general assembly made by 12 association members--including the branches of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir—was rejected by the administration. The leadership of TBB President Metin Feyzioğlu, who has increasingly developed a stance in harmony with Erdoğan and his government, has been a source of unease among union members.
Former President of Turkey's Constitutional Court Hasim Kılıç has stated that the judiciary in Turkey is under political siege. Kılıç noted that a great majority of the Supreme Election Board and the Council of Judges and Prosecutors are appointed by President Erdoğan, who is the leader of a political party.
President Erdoğan has slammed the European Union for its decision to sanction Turkey in relation to the country's drilling activities off the coast of Cyprus, saying that the bloc should "reconsider" its attitude towards Turkey, "which keeps ISIS militants in prisons and under control in Syria."
The district of Beytüşşebap is in the southeastern province of Şırnak, which is the province with the second-highest birthrate in the country, lacks a single obstetrician or gynecologist. Doctors appointed to districts in Şırnak frequently have resigned from their positions.