Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and discussed improving relations and cooperating in fighting terrorism, Turkish officials say.
Erdogan proclaimed in a speech in Ankara on November 9 that “a new era is beginning” as a result of Trump’s election victory. Trump campaigned on reversing many of President Barack Obama’s policies in the Middle East.
Erdogan’s relations with Obama and Western Europe have been strained since he launched a broad crackdown on judges, journalists, teachers and other civilians in the aftermath of an aborted coup against him in July.
Erdogan has been particularly frustrated by Washington’s reluctance to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive cleric living in Pennsylvania whom he accuses of masterminding the failed putsch.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a quick handover of Gulen under Trump would “open a new page” in U.S.-Turkey relations.
Relations between the two NATO allies also have been strained as Ankara has sought to join the Iraqi government’s campaign to oust the Islamic State (IS) militants from Mosul, despite protests from Baghdad.
Erdogan also has sought to discourage the United States from relying on Kurdish fighters to retake Raqqa from IS in Syria.
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