Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he gave back a wild letter from President Donald Trump which warned him not to be a “fool” and “the devil” in Syria last month.
During a visit to The White House on Wednesday, Erdogan was asked why he “ignored” a letter sent to him by Trump in October which urged him to strike a deal with Kurdish forces in northern Syria, rather than invading.
“This letter was re-presented to the President this afternoon,” Erdogan responded to the reporter.
It revived the diplomatic spat over the letter, which shocked many for its forthright language, and an explicit threat from Trump to tank Turkey's economy if Erdogan displeased him.
A copy of the letter can be seen in the tweet below:
—Trish Regan (@trish_regan) October 16, 2019
Turkish sources at the time told media outlets, including the BBC, that the letter had been thrown in the trash.
At the press conference, Erdogan claimed that Turkey's military intervention in Northern Syria was a move against terrorism. Turkey regards Kurdish fighters in the region as terrorists, on account of links with Kurdish separatist groups within Turkey.
Erdogan's military intervention in the region was widely condemned after evidence suggesting possible war crimes against the Kurdish population emerged. The United Nations estimated that 200,000 people have been displaced.