Erdogan: Turkey, US to overcome ‘turbulent period’

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey and the U.S. will overcome the current “turbulent period” in their relations through their strategic partnership, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Wednesday.

"Our strategic partnership, which has gone through difficulties so many times, will overcome this turbulent period," Erdogan said during his address at the Ninth Turkey Investment Conference held by the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK) in New York.

Erdogan said disagreements with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on issues such as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the fight against terrorism, Jerusalem, Syria and sanctions "test Turkish-American relations".

He said he believes that Turkey and the U.S. need to come a long way in their relations, especially with regards to the FETO and PYD/PKK terrorist organizations.

He questioned why the U.S. is protecting FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, adding: “Are we not strategic partners?”

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen are accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.