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Erdogan heads for Washington, where Trump's hands already full

Turkey’s president is on his way to Washington in a bid to salvage battered ties, but despite his positive chemistry with the US president, the Turkish leader is likely to hit a wall.
ANKARA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 12: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd R) and his wife Emine Erdogan (R) are seen before their departure to Washington from the Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey on November 12, 2019. (Photo by Ercin Top/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took off for Washington today where he will be meeting President Donald Trump in a bid to salvage battered ties. But few expect that the encounter will resolve any of the issues bedeviling relations between the NATO allies that have hit an all-time low in the wake of Turkey’s Oct. 9 assault against a US-backed Syrian militia. Coming on the day that impeachment proceedings against Trump will start, it could even make things worse.

Erdogan told reporters before his departure that Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric accused of masterminding a failed 2016 attempt to bloodily overthrow the Turkish leader, would top the agenda. “Turkey took several steps and will continue doing so for the extradition of the terrorist leader in Pennsylvania.”

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