Donald Trump on October 9 wrote a diplomatic letter to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan admnonishing him to “work out a good deal!” and warning him not to be a “tough guy” or “fool.”
“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way,” The letter was monitored on ngg.ng as reported by Fox Business Network and confirmed by the White House. “It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen.”
In attempt to retrace his steps, Trump has been trying to contain the damage from his sudden move last week to pull American forces from northern Syria, allowing Turkey to proceed with a military operation in the region. The withdrawal left Kurdish fighters who fought for several years alongside American troops against Islamic State exposed to attack from the Turkish military.
On Wednesday, the POTUS stood by his decision, rejecting criticism from key GOP supporters in Congress that he abandoned Kurdish allies and allowed Russia to fill the void.
Trump’s letter told the Turkish leader: “I have worked hard to solve some of your problems.” He didn’t elaborate.
Trump also referred to the case of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor who had been held captive in Turkey on terrorism charges.
Trump told Erdogan in the letter: “You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. I’ve already given you a little glimpse with respect to Pastor Brunson.”
Brunson was freed from prison in Turkey in 2018 after Trump doubled metal tariffs on Turkey, fueling a weakening of the lira, and imposed financial sanctions on key Erdogan aides involved in the pastor’s case. Brunson had been accused of collaborating with terrorist groups and participating in a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, charges he strongly denied.