Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said that recent talks with US President Joe Biden were disappointing, which led his country to seek closer ties with Russia.
Speaking after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Erdoğan maintained that he and Biden had failed to accommodate their differences at a meeting during his visit to New York for the UN General Assembly this week.
“We have never experienced this situation with any US leader before. As two NATO countries, we need to be in a different [better] position,” he told journalists.
The Turkish president criticized U.S. support for Kurdish militants in Syria who were instrumental in fighting the Islamic State group, but Erdoğan government sees the US allies as another terrorist organisation, one that has no difference from Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
“Instead of fighting terrorist organizations, the U.S. is providing much more support to them than expected. It gives them considerable amount of weapons, tools and vehicles,” he said.
Ankara accuses the Kurdish militants in north-eastern Syria of being an extension of its decades-long foe, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a 37-year insurgency against Turkey.
The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States for its insurgency against the Turkish state.
In the meantime, Erdoğan is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Sept. 29, where the leaders are expected to focus on the situation in Syria, and particularly in northwest province Idlib
Russia is the main ally of the Syrian government as Turkey endorses groups that have sought to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Erdoğan said he would seek to upgrade relations with Moscow “much further” when he meets Putin.
“The Syrian regime poses a threat in the south of Turkey. I expect from Putin and Russia a different approach,” he said.
“We need to fight together in the south,” he added.
“I can’t really say that the Turkish-American relations are healthy at the moment,” the Turkish president told journalists on Thursday. What is more, Erdoğan claimed that in his 19 years in power he “worked well” with U.S. presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. However, he added, “I can’t say that we had a good start with Mr. Biden.”