Turkey’s Erdoğan says he won’t forget Trump’s ‘impolite’ Syria letter

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Turkish President and leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during his party's parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, Turkey on October 23, 2018. AFP PHOTOS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said he had not forgotten about US President Donald Trump’s “impolite” letter, saying that necessary measures would be taken at the right time, BBC Turkish service reported.

“We haven’t forgotten this, and it’s not right to forget. But our mutual respect prevents us from keeping it on the agenda,” Erdoğan told foreign journalists in İstanbul, adding that the letter was “impolite.”

US President Donald Trump warned Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan in a letter about Turkey’s incursion into Syria, “Don’t be a tough guy” and “Don’t be a fool!” Reuters reported.

The Oct. 9 letter was released by the White House on Wednesday as Trump struggled to contain political damage following his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria, clearing the way for a Turkish incursion targeting America’s Kurdish allies.

The letter tried to persuade Erdoğan to reverse a decision to invade Syria that Erdoğan told Trump about in an Oct. 6 phone call.

“Let’s work out a good deal!” Trump said. “You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will.”

Turkey launched a military operation in northeastern Syria on Oct. 9 targeting Kurdish militia.

US Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Erdoğan on Thursday and brokered a five-day ceasefire to allow the Kurdish forces to leave designated areas.

“If US doesn’t keep its promises by the end of the fifth day, we will continue our operation more willingly,” Erdoğan said.

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