Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan talked to reporters at İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport on Sept. 17 just before his departure to New York to participate in the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.
"We will have meetings with some presidents and prime ministers including the U.S. President Trump. I attribute great importance to our meeting with Trump. It corresponds to a time span in which critical developments take place in the region. I believe that it will be helpful and productive," Erdoğan said.
REFERENDUM IN IRAQI KURDISTAN
"This Northern Iraq regional government still has the same understanding,” Erdoğan stated regarding the referendum plans in Iraqi Kurdistan, and continued, "There is a disturbing process for us. We have a 350-kilometer border there, we have cognates, coreligionists. It does not matter for us whether they are Kurd, Arab, Turkmen, but if you lead this understating to a disintegration in Iraq, then we will not tell you 'Go ahead'."
Stating that he will also have a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the U.S., Erdoğan concluded, “The Northern Iraqi regional government takes steps for the disintegration of Iraq. I have sent my [National Intelligence Organization] MİT Undersecretary there [Erbil]. I have told them they are making a mistake. This will be one of my points during the meeting with Trump."
BACKGROUND OF TURKISH-U.S. RELATIONS
As Erdoğan emphasizes the importance of his meeting with Donald Trump, it is a matter of question whether some critical issues will be discussed during the meeting. Besides the infamous brawl led by Erdoğan’s security officials in the U.S., Turkey’s former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan’s inclusion in a U.S. indictment regarding bribery, money laundering and illegal transactions for the Iranian government against the U.S. administration in association with Iranian-born Turkish Reza Zarrab, who is jailed in the U.S. at the moment, might be discussed during the meeting of Erdoğan and Trump.
While Turkey’s ruling AKP party explicitly defended Turkish former economy minister's deeds, portraying them as an act on behalf of Turkey’s interests at the time, it is still a question mark whether this problem will be talked during the upcoming meeting of Erdoğan and Trump.
As some analysts around the globe label Turkey’s move to purchase S-400 missiles from Russia as a deviation from the traditional NATO standards, what sort of a stance President Erdoğan will take during the forthcoming UN sessions will, doubtlessly, ignite the already heated debates in Turkey.
Meanwhile, some pro-Erdoğan circles and journalists in Turkey have loudly objected to Erdoğan’s recent visit to New York, considering that he also might be detained there on the grounds of the fact that he led the corruption scandal with some Iranian figures against the U.S. administration.
As Erdoğan claims that he will "challenge" to the UN’s current structure again, it is apparently enigmatic if the Trump-Erdoğan meeting will restore the deteriorated relations between the two countries amidst the ongoing problems of Turkey in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iraq.