Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized a US decision to cancel a $1.2 million deal for the purchase of firearms for Erdoğan’s security detail and said the US is not allowing Turkey to buy guns while it sends them to terrorist organizations for free.
Erdoğan’s remarks came during an interview with PBS on Monday during his visit to the US to attend the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.
Referring to US arms support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, which Turkey claims is affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Erdoğan protested the refusal of the US to sell Turkey weapons and accused it of supporting terrorists.
“And when we are not able to acquire those weapons from the United States, why are you giving them to terrorists? It’s a question that we ask our friends in the United States. And when these questions are not answered, we feel sad, as a strategic partner of the US,” said Erdoğan.
Following violence perpetrated by Erdoğan’s bodyguards on protesters during the president’s visit to Washington this spring, US lawmakers expressed strong opposition to the sale of weapons to Erdoğan’s security detail.
A total of 19 including 15 Turkish security officials have been indicted by a grand jury for attacking the protesters.