Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out at White House National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday after reportedly refusing to meet with him in Ankara, according to local Turkish media.
While Bolton was having meetings with top security officials in Ankara instead of the president himself, Erdoğan targeted him in a speech at his party’s weekly meeting. Erdoğan said Bolton’s remarks on Kurds in Syria were unacceptable.
“It is not possible for us to swallow the message he [Bolton] gave before coming to Turkey,” Erdoğan said in reference to Bolton’s comments.
Bolton made remarks on Sunday in Israel outlining conditions for a US troop withdrawal from Syria including protection for Syrian Kurdish fighters who have been trained and armed by the United States to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“These people do not know which Kurds are my citizens, which are Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK], which are People’s Protection Units [YPG],” Erdoğan said, adding that if the US considers them [PKK and YPG] to be “our Kurdish brothers,” it is a big mistake.