A letter written by US President Donald Trump that asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to be a “tough guy” or a “fool” was reportedly thrown into the trash by Erdogan, who “thoroughly rejected” it. Trump’s letter, which warned Erdogan against launching an offensive in Syria, has been making headlines for unconventional language that is miles away from diplomatic speak.
Trump’s letter to Erdogan begins with a straight-up threat. “You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy – and I will,” Trump writes in the opening paragraph of his letter.
Trump goes on to urge Erdogan to strike a deal and avoid invading Syria. “History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen,” Trump writes.
“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Trump ended the letter with, “I will call you later.”
The strange language bereft of any diplomatic niceties left several political observers and journalists shocked, many of whom initially refused to believe the letter was the real deal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted somewhat similarly. According to British news website BBC, Erdogan “thoroughly rejected” the letter and threw it “in the bin”. “President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin,” the BBC quoted Turkish presidential sources as saying.
Interestingly, the letter to Erdogan was dated October 9 — the very day Turkey launched its pre-announced offensive into Syria, attacking Kurdish fighters located on the Syria-Turkey border.
Turkey launched the offensive targeting Kurdish-led militia, which have traditionally been US allies, after Donald Trump withdrew US forces from the region. Turkey has justified its offensive saying Kurdish fighters located so close to its border pose a security threat.