Donald Trump’s decision to allow Turkish forces into Syria was widely condemned throughout the American political sphere. In an effort to calm down the controversy, Trump announced that he would be punishing Turkey’s encroachment with crippling sanctions.
While Republicans like Lindsey Graham seemed to think the sanctions were a good idea, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the media that he is not worried by them. The Turkish leader also said that he would not be willing to meet with Mike Pence or Mike Pompeo about a ceasefire and that he would only speak with Trump.
Pence and Pompeo will be flying into Ankara on Wednesday and hope to meet with Erdogan. They may not get the chance.
“They say ‘declare a ceasefire’. We will never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan told reporters. “They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions.”
Turkey's president @RTErdogan tells @AlexCrawfordSky he will not speak with the US Vice President about a ceasefire in Syria during his visit – adding that he will only talk to President @realDonaldTrump.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 16, 2019
The Turkish leader was also asked about Pence and Pompeo’s upcoming trip. “Why would I meet with them,” he said. “I’m not going to talk to them. They will be talking to their counterparts. When Trump comes I will meet with him.”
Trump hoped that the threatened sanctions would end Turkey’s invasion of Syria. Pompeo said of a planned executive order, “If Turkey’s operation continues, it will exacerbate a growing and daunting humanitarian crisis, with potentially disastrous consequences. To avoid suffering further sanctions imposed under this new Executive Order Turkey must immediately cease its unilateral offensive in northeast Syria and return to a dialogue with the United States on security in northeast Syria.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.