President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said he would like to believe that all information regarding a US decision to provide arms to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is rumor.
“As I said, I do not take the statements in written or broadcast media up until now seriously. You ask why? Because the US is still in a process of transition. Hence, we should be more careful and sensitive,” Erdoğan said at Ankara Esenboğa Airport before leaving for an official visit to China, his first stop before traveling to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump next week.
Expressing his uneasiness with US and Russian moves to support the YPG in Syria, Erdoğan said: “We can come and go suddenly in the middle of the night. If we do not do this, the threat against us will continue. There is no threat for either the US or Russia in this region. Since the threat is against us, it’s nobody else’s business. If the US wants do us a favor, we are together in NATO. The US should take steps with us. I said the same thing to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. I do not think it is appropriate for Russia to be with terrorist organizations.”
“I want to see that all information up until now is rumor. That is the reason why this visit is important,” Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan also underlined that in addition to the YPG issue, the extradition of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen will be a major topic during his visit to Washington.
Erdoğan accuses Gülen of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, while Gülen strongly denies any involvement in the coup.