ANKARA – Turkish presidential sources said on Thursday that a statement released by the White House on the conversation between US President Donald Trump and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not correspond to the truth.
The sources told EFE that the US statement issued Wednesday night did not correctly reflect the contents of the conversation between Erdogan and Trump.
According to the US statement, Trump voiced his “concern about destructive and false rhetoric coming from Turkey, and about American citizens and local employees detained under the prolonged State of Emergency in Turkey.”
However, the Turkish sources stressed that Trump did not use the phrase “destructive and false rhetoric.”
Instead, the Turkish sources said Trump only said that criticism in Turkey regarding the US had caused concern in Washington.
According to the Turkish sources, Erdogan responded saying certain US policies, such as the support for the Kurdish YPG militias in Syria, against which the Turkish armed forces have been fighting since Saturday in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria, had caused great anger among Turks.
The current state of emergency in Turkey since the failed military coup of 2016 was also not mentioned in the Trump-Erdogan conversation, according to the Turkish sources.
However, the sources confirmed that Trump requested the release of US citizens detained in Turkey following the failed coup.
Erdogan responded to the Trump request saying that the independent Turkish judiciary would make its decisions on the arrests of the American citizens after completing investigations.
The sources added that Trump did not express his concern about the escalation of violence in Afrin, but emphasized the need to limit the duration of the Turkish military’s operation “Olive Branch” in Afrin.