Speed Reads

Trump White House

Trump will host Turkish President Erdogan at White House today

On Tuesday, President Trump will hold a meeting at the White House with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Key topics are expected to be Turkey's opposition to a Trump plan to arm Kurdish fighters for a possible offensive to capture the Islamic State capital of Raqqa, and Turkey's call for the U.S. to extradite a Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for inciting a failed coup last summer. Trump has tried to maintain friendly relations with Erdogan, including calling him to congratulate him last month on a narrowly approved referendum that will greatly increase the Turkish leader's powers.

Since the coup, Turkey has arrested 47,000 people, fired 100,000 government employees suspected of following Gulen, and jailed more than 100 journalists and a dozen opposition legislators. Human rights are not expected to be on the agenda. The Kurdish YPG fighters have been America's most effective force against ISIS, but Turkey considers them terrorists allied with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).