The Turkish government flaunted its disrespect for the United States and President Donald Trump.
Turkish officials refused to comment substantively on an Oct. 9 letter Trump sent to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urging him not to be a “tough guy” or “fool” and reach a ceasefire agreement with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia, reported Middle East Eye.
“We just dumped his letter into the trash,” one government official told the website on the condition on anonymity.
“The date on the letter is 9 October, the same day we began Operation Peace Spring,” that official said. “Our president gave the best response by launching the operation on the same day at 4 p.m.”
Erdoğan snubbed Vice President Mike Pence, who arrives Thursday in Ankara, by saying he would meet only with Trump — if he visited Turkey — and instead handed off peace talks to his own vice president.
“This Trump letter to Erdoğan is the most damaging correspondence that could’ve been leaked ahead of VP Pence’s visit to Ankara tomorrow,” Soner Cagaptay, a prominent Turkey expert, tweeted on Wednesday. “Now, Erdoğan has no option but to delay ceasefire in Syria, less he be humiliated in front of his nation as weak and bowing to America’s threat.”
Russia questioned the tone of the letter as “highly unusual.”
“You don’t often encounter such language in correspondence between heads of state. It’s a highly unusual letter,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davotoglu said all meetings with U.S. officials should be cancelled.
“The Turkish nation and state were offended,” he tweeted.