I give Erdoğan great credit for turning the coup around: Trump
AA photoRepublican presidential nominee Donald Trump has commented on the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, saying he gave President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “great” credit for being able to turn the situation around.
“The coup never took place — the coup was not successful, and based on the fact, and I give great credit to him for being able to turn that around,” Trump told The New York Times during the Republican National Convention on July 20, as he praised the people for going out to the streets and standing against the coup plotters.
“Some people say that it was staged. I don’t think so, but I do give great credit to Erdoğan for turning it around. You know, the first hour, it seemed like it was over. Then all of a sudden, and the amazing thing is the one that won that was the people,” he also said.
Saying that the people weren’t in favor of what the military was doing, Trump noted it was “impressive” from the standpoint of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
“They came out on the streets, and the army types didn’t want to drive over them like they did in Tiananmen Square when they sort of drived them over, and that was the end of that. People said, ‘I’m not going to drive over people.’ The people came out of their homes, and they were not in favor of what the military was doing. So that was quite impressive from the standpoint of [the] existing government,” he said.
During the interview, Trump also mentioned the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying that Turkey “can do a lot” against the jihadist group.
“I will say this: I think Turkey can do a lot against ISIS [ISIL], and I would hope that if I’m dealing with them, they will do much more about ISIS,” he added.
Saying that he was a “fan of the Kurds,” Trump added that it would be “ideal” if Turkey and the Kurds were “put together.”
“Well, it would be ideal if we could get them all together. And that would be a possibility. But I’m a big fan of the Kurdish forces. At the same time, I think we have a potentially — we could have a potentially very successful relationship with Turkey. And it would be really wonderful if we could put them somehow both together,” he said.
Trump also elaborated on his diplomatic plan regarding the issue, saying that meetings can be organized between the sides.
“If I ever have the opportunity to do it, meaning if I win, we will have meetings, we will have meetings very early on. I think it’s a natural. I mean, we have two groups that are friendly and they are fighting each other. So if we could put them together, that would be something that would be possible to do, in my opinion,” he also said.