President Donald Trump wrote an unusual letter to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week that warned him, “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” if he moved forward with an offensive against the Syrian Kurds following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region.
- The letter was first obtained by Trish Regan of Fox Business.
- The letter’s tone, which some criticized as being unstatesmanlike for official diplomatic correspondence, led some to believe that it was satire published by The Onion, but the White House later confirmed that the letter is real, according to several media reports.
- The release of the letter comes after Trump met with top Democrats on the situation in northern Syria. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly left the meeting and said Trump had a “meltdown”; her description of Trump was confirmed by several other officials at the meeting. Trump responded by tweeting out a picture from the meeting with the caption “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!”
Here is an image of the letter. A 6th-grader could have done better. Remember — this is coming from the President of the United States, going to the president of another country.
TURKISH PRESIDENT TOSSES TRUMP’S LETTER INTO THE TRASH, ATTACKS KURDS
The Turkish government flaunted its disrespect for the United States and President Donald Trump.
Turkish officials refused to comment substantively on an Oct. 9 letter Trump sent to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urging him not to be a “tough guy” or “fool” and reach a ceasefire agreement with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia, reported Middle East Eye.
“We just dumped his letter into the trash,” one government official told the website on the condition of anonymity.
“The date on the letter is 9 October, the same day we began Operation Peace Spring,” that official said. “Our president gave the best response by launching the operation on the same day at 4 p.m.”
Erdoğan snubbed Vice President Mike Pence, who arrives Thursday in Ankara, by saying he would meet only with Trump — if he visited Turkey — and instead handed off peace talks to his own vice president.
“This Trump letter to Erdoğan is the most damaging correspondence that could’ve been leaked ahead of VP Pence’s visit to Ankara tomorrow,” Soner Cagaptay, a prominent Turkey expert, tweeted on Wednesday. “Now, Erdoğan has no option but to delay ceasefire in Syria, less he be humiliated in front of his nation as weak and bowing to America’s threat.”
Russia questioned the tone of the letter as “highly unusual.”
“You don’t often encounter such language in correspondence between heads of state. It’s a highly unusual letter,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davotoglu said all meetings with U.S. officials should be cancelled.
“The Turkish nation and state were offended,” he tweeted.