President Donald Trump penned an unusually blunt letter last Wednesday to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warning him not to kill Kurdish civilians and urging him to negotiate.
The text of the letter was circulated in the media on Wednesday, a week after the Oct. 9 date it was written, and journalists initially doubted it was real, given the colloquial language.
The text of the letter, obtained by Trish Regan of Fox News, is as follows:
Let’s work out a good deal! 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. I’ve already given you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson.
I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal. General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they never would have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.
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. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!
The reference to “Pastor Brunson” indicates American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was released from a Turkish prison a year ago after the Trump administration applied economic and diplomatic pressure to the Turkish government. “General Mazloum” refers to Kurdish general Mazloum Kobani of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Upon hearing confirmation that the letter was real, journalists — particularly those on the left — expressed shock and horror.
According to Jake Tapper, the White House has confirmed this letter is REAL.
I was resisting tweeting because I assumed it must be a hoax. https://t.co/8rk00MAUQp
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 16, 2019
Trump continues to threaten Turkey with economic sanctions unless it halts its offensive in Syria.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.