Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu pushed back against comments from US President Donald Trump, saying nothing could be achieved by threatening Ankara economically and strategic partners should not communicate over social media.
Ankara will not shrink from threats by US President Donald Trump, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday.
"We have repeatedly said that we are never afraid of threats. Threatening Turkey economically will get you nowhere," Cavusoglu told a news conference with his Luxembourg counterpart Jean Asselborn in the Turkish capital Ankara.
TRT World's Hasan Abdullah reports from the Turkish capital.
Cavusoglu's remarks came in response to Trump's threat to attack Turkey's economy if Ankara hits the terror group PKK/YPG during the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
"Strategic partners" should not communicate through social media, Cavusoglu added, in clear reference to the perennially tweeting US leader.
"The US Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds," Trump tweeted on Sunday, conflating Kurds with the terrorist PKK/YPG, a confusion that Turkey has repeatedly criticised.
Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019
Cavusoglu said Turkey is not the enemy of the Kurdish people.
He added there is serious pressure on Trump not to withdraw from Syria.
Following the surprise announcement in December that US forces would leave Syria, US officials said withdrawal was conditional on the US not attacking the "Kurds," meaning the terrorist PKK/YPG.
Turkish officials attacked the US conflation of "Kurds" with the terror group, saying a forthcoming Turkish operation in Syria targets a terrorist group which threatens Arabs, Turkmens, and Kurds alike in Syria.
In its 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives. The YPG/PYD is its Syrian branch.