A week after U.S. President Donald Trump sparked anger in Turkey by authorizing arming of Syrian Kurds, he is hosting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks Tuesday at the White House with an expected focus on that dispute, as well as the wider conflict in Syria.
The U.S. sees the Kurdish force, the YPG, as a key part in the fight against Islamic State and the effort to oust the militants from their de facto capital in Raqqa. But Turkey considers the YPG terrorists because of their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party that has been waging a three-decade insurgency inside of Turkey.
Erdogan called the decision to provide U.S. arms “contrary to our strategic relations to the U.S.”
But he said last week ahead of the trip that he views his visit to Washington as “a new beginning in Turkish-American relations.”