Jul 03 2018

White House press secretary to ‘look into’ Trump’s post-election call to Erdoğan

 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday said while U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the phone following Turkey’s June 24 elections, she would have to look into the details on the content of the conversation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won a new five-year term after securing outright victory in the first round of a presidential polls on June 24. Turkish media reported that U.S. President Donald Trump called Erdoğan on Tuesday to congratulate and wish him a successful term.

Sanders did not confirm that Trump congratulated Erdoğan and she would have to look into the details of the call in response to a question on the lack of readout on Trump’s call to Turkey’s strongman during a press briefing on Monday.

 Ankara-Washington relations have been under serious pressure due to a string of developments such as diverging objectives in Syria; provocative behaviour and rhetoric aimed at the United States by Turkish government leaders; the presence in the United States of Fethullah Gülen, an Islamist preacher who Turkey blames for plotting the failed July 2016 coup attempt and the incarceration of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism related charges in Turkey since October 2016.