Trump Warns Turkey’s Erdogan Not to ‘Be a Tough Guy’

Warns history will remember Erdogan as 'the devil' if something happens

In a letter released to the public on Wednesday, President Trump admonished Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admonishing him on the situation in Syria, and calling on him to “make a good deal.”

Trump bragged about working hard to solve Turkey’s problems, and said the Kurds were willing to “make concessions that they would never have made in the past.” He apparently enclosed a letter to that effect with his own letter.

The most dramatic part of the letter came in the last paragraph, where Trump said history would look favorably on Erdogan if he accepted a US-backed deal, and history would view him “forever as the devil if good things don’t happen.” He warned Erdogan “don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!”

Though it’s not clear what sort of relationship Trump and Erdogan have going into this, any statement that warns if he doesn’t accept Trump’s plan he’ll be remembered “forever as the devil” probably isn’t going to be viewed positively, especially with Erdogan already irked by international opposition to the invasion.

Trump says Erdogan wouldn’t want to kill thousands of people, and he (Trump) wouldn’t want to destroy Turkey’s economy, even though he’s definitely willing to do so. All of this puts the Trump letter more in the context of a threat than a proposal.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.