Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday he “cannot forget” the Oct. 9 letter President Donald Trump sent him ahead of his country’s military offensive into Syria, warning him not to be a “tough guy.” “President Trump’s letter, which did not go hand in hand with political and diplomatic courtesy, has appeared in the media,” Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday. “Of course we haven't forgotten it. It would not be right for us to forget it.”
Erdogan said that Turkey would “do what’s necessary” concerning the letter “when the time comes,” but did not go into detail. He added that despite Trump’s warning, there is mutual “love and respect” between the two leaders that prevents him from pursuing aggressive action. “This is not a priority for us, but when the time comes we would like it to be known that we will take the necessary steps,” he said. Turkish troops launched an offensive against Kurdish militias in Syria last week, just after Trump suddenly announced his highly criticized decision to withdraw American troops from the border area.