We were on good terms with Obama, says Turkish President Erdoğan

We were on good terms with Obama, says Turkish President Erdoğan

Akif Beki
We were on good terms with Obama, says Turkish President Erdoğan

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seen during a conference at the Foreign Affairs building in Mexico City during his Mexico visit. REUTERS Photo.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he was on good terms with U.S. President Barack Obama in the past, but things have begun to change.

“When Obama came to office, we got along very well with each other. As you know, the Obama family hosted us at the White House. We held one-on-one meetings there. After all of these meetings, things began to change and I do not know why,” he said to a group of journalists on his way back on the airplane to Turkey after his five-day-long Latin America trip.

He also noted he does not care about negative reactions to his words and deeds upon questions about the claims that some of Erdoğan’s statements have made him isolated.

“I do not care about being alone in the world. What we care about is what our people think about us. As we all saw during the presidential elections, the people did not leave us alone. ... It is the same for many peoples across the world. In the eyes of some leaders, isolation claims may exist, but the only thing behind this is jealousy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Erdoğan on Feb. 12 criticized Obama for his silence following the killings of three young Muslims in North Carolina this week, in the latest sign that relations between the two have become strained, as Reuters reported.

Speaking during a state visit to Mexico, Erdoğan said the silence of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry was “telling” and they should take a position following such acts.
“If you stay silent when faced with an incident like this, and don’t make a statement, the world will stay silent toward you,” Erdoğan said, condemning those responsible for the crime.

The three Muslims were shot dead on Feb. 10 near the University of North Carolina campus in an incident police said was possibly a hate crime. The White House said on Feb. 11 it would await the results of the police investigation before commenting.