President Trump's letter for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not your typical presidential correspondence. In fact, it was pretty unorthodox. In it Trump urged Erdogan to do the right thing in Syria and not try to be a "tough guy." Turkey has acted aggressively in northern Syria and threatened our Kurdish allies following Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the region.
"Don't be a tough guy," Trump wrote Erdogan. "Don't be a fool!"
“President Trump’s letter, which did not go hand in hand with political and diplomatic courtesy, has appeared in the media," Erodgan said on Friday. "Of course we haven’t forgotten it. It would not be right for us to forget it.”
Still, despite the bad taste the letter may have left in Erdogan's mouth, he and other Turkish officials had a successful meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday. The two sides agreed to a ceasefire in Syria.
Trump spoke to Erdogan on Friday, and shared a bit of their conversation with his Twitter followers. The president again celebrated the ceasefire agreement, but lamented that it had not happened sooner.
.....this thinking years ago. Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success. The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019
Trump emphasized there is at least one thing both the U.S. and Turkey can agree on.
DEFEAT TERRORISM! https://t.co/8WbnLPgWIK— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019