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Erdogan snags White House invite in diplomatic win, Turkish press reports

Turkey's president seems to be finally visiting the White House in May in apparent quid pro quo for approving Sweden’s NATO membership, possibly boosting his ruling party ahead of nationwide polls.
Turkey's President and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends an election campaign rally in Istanbul on March 24, 2024, ahead of the March 31 municipal elections.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has secured a long coveted invitation to the White House and is expected to travel to Washington to meet with President Joe Biden in May, Turkish news outlets reported on Tuesday.

The private NTV news station said Erdogan is scheduled to arrive in Washington on May 9, but like other outlets that shared the news, it did not provide sourcing for the claim. US officials contacted by Al-Monitor to confirm the visit had not responded as of time of publication. Turkish officials did not confirm the report but nor did they rebut it. 

Erdogan was last formally received at the White House by President Donald Trump in May 2017 and has long lobbied the Biden administration for an official visit. The invitation is apparently quid pro quo for Erdogan approving Sweden’s NATO membership after more than 20 months of foot-dragging. The US seal of approval, as Erdogan likely sees things, will provide his ruling Justice and Development Party a sorely needed boost ahead of nationwide elections due to be held on March 31. This benefit may explain why Turkish officials may have leaked the news, as they likely did.

A  new era of transactionalism

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