After nine days of hectic diplomacy and military offensive in Syria, Turkey and the U.S. reached a ceasefire deal that includes the withdrawal of YPG militants. The deal was hailed by both Ankara and Washington, with Trump saying, 'Millions of lives will be saved.'
Two days after the emergence of Trump's letter to Erdoğan, the Turkish President said that the necessary actions will be taken when the time is right. "It's not our priority today," he said.
In a letter obtained by a Fox Business reporter, U.S. President Trump urges Turkish President Erdoğan to halt the country's offensive in northern Syria. The letter included phrases outside diplomatic niceties, such as, "Don't be a tough guy" and "Don't be a fool."
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar rejected claims that the army has chemical weapons, saying that the YPG will carry out attacks with chemical weapons and then blame it on Turkey.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Turkey to end its offensive in Syria, saying that Germany won't deliver any weapons to Turkey under the current conditions.
As tensions between Turkey and the U.S. mount, whether President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet with the U.S. delegation remains unknown, with contradictory statements coming from the Turkish side.
A week after Turkey launched its military offensive in Syria's northeast, the Russian-backed Syrian army entered Manbij, as the U.S. troops withdrew from the city. Commenting on the offensive, a Russian envoy said that Ankara and Damascus were in talks.
U.S. President Donald Trump imposes sanctions against Turkey, whilst also urging the country to end its offensive in Syria, a decision that was applauded by Congress.
In response to Western criticism over Turkey's operation in northeastern Syria, Erdoğan questioned the West's loyalty to Turkey as a partner in NATO. "Are we partners in NATO, or not? Or did you allow a terror organization to join NATO without my knowledge" Erdoğan said her asked German chancellor Merkel.
Spain, Austria and Belgium joined Germany and France on Oct. 14 in backing an arms embargo on Turkey over its Syrian offensive but top exporter Italy had yet to declare its position, leaving an-EU wide ban in doubt. Paris and Berlin suspended weapons sales to Turkey, a NATO ally, over the weekend, while Finland and the Netherlands said earlier they were also stopping arms exports, in what EU diplomats said could be a first step in a series of EU sanctions aimed at persuading Ankara to halt the fighting.
As Turkey readies its troops for a military operation in Syria's north, U.S. President Donald Trump raised eyebrows in Ankara by threatening to 'destroy and obliterate' the Turkish economy. Hours later, Trump went on to praise the cooperation between Ankara and Washington, as the date of the meeting between two presidents was announced.
Turkey protested on Oct. 6 after the U.S. Embassy's Twitter account liked a tweet saying that Turkey should be ready for a political realm without Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the nationalist party who has recently fallen in ill. The Embassy posted an apology on Twitter after the protest.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Turkish military could launch an instant overnight operation east of the Euphrates River in Syria, territory under the control of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). "At this point Turkey no longer has one more day to lose regarding this issue. We have no choice but to continue on our own path" he told at the opening of the legislative year in Turkish parliament.
Turkey's purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system had resulted in Washington cancelling its sale of F-35 fighter jets to Ankara. Erdoğan recently said the two countries had not yet reached a solution on the issue. He added that he made an offer to President Trump to buy Patriots alongside with the S-400s.
Opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called for contact to be established between the Turkish and Syrian governments. President Erdoğan and Syrian President Bashar al Assad once enjoyed warm ties, relations between the two countries fell apart after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, where Turkey supported the opposition groups that were fighting the Assad regime, believing the regime would soon fall.