President Trump

Trump: ‘My Attitude Towards Turkey Is Very Positive’


ISTANBUL (RFE/RL) — After the release of American pastor Andrew Brunson  on October 12, signs of warming appear in Turkish-American strained relations.

The head of the White House, though he does not speak of eliminating sanctions against Ankara yet, publicly announces his opinion on Turkey.

“We have not promised anything to Turkey, we do not go for a deal to release captives or prisoners. However, I must say that now I have changed my opinion about Turkey very much, my attitude is very different from the feeling I had two days ago, now it’s very positive, two days ago it was not so,” Trump said.

Until recently, Trump was critical of interviews and Erdogan’s administration in his tweets.

“Turkey has abused the United States’ confidence,” he said in August, a few days after Washington had already imposed sanctions on Turkey to a significant blow to the country’s economy.

US media outlets say the US president was ready to take stronger measures. According to ABC sources, Washington seriously discussed the issue of removing all diplomatic personnel from Turkey.

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Speaking to the TV station, senior US officials said that the program was thoroughly discussed in the American elite, even though it was decided that the process would take place in two months, first by US high-ranking diplomats and then by ordinary employees of the embassy.

“For a moment, there was a fear that relations with Turkey would be severely disrupted,” the State Department official said, adding that the issue of putting more severe restrictions on Turkish officials and businessmen was on the table.

“The Turks were aware that the entire American administration was angry, and if Erdogan did not free Brunson many days ago, that anger would go out. Sanctions, restrictions, withdrawal of diplomats, everything was discussed,” a senior US State Department official told ABC.

The Turkish court, who was imprisoned for more than two and a half years on charges of espionage and terrorism, released him last weekend and allowed him to return to his homeland.

Trump personally accepted Brunson in the White House. “From the Turkish prison to the Oval Office is not bad in 24 hours,” he said.

The Turkish president continues to insist that he has nothing to do with the release of Brunson since the courts in Turkey are free, justice is independent.

People: Donald Trump


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