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In controversial move, President Trump congratulates Turkey's president on latest win

Supporters of the
Supporters of the "No voters" and members of Turkey's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), hold a flag of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

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Despite a controversial referendum including internationally condemned voting irregularities, President Trump became the first Western leader to congratulate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his win, which greatly expands his executive powers as president.

The two leaders also discussed Turkey's support of the U.S. response to a Syrian chemical weapons attack and efforts to counter the Islamic State group, according to the White House summary of their phone call Monday. Trump’s congratulations stand in stark contrast with many European leaders as well as a statement issued by the US State Department warning against further repression by the Turkish government of its political opposition.

What does Trump’s congratulations signal for future U.S - Turkey relations and for political power in that region?


Nahal Toosi, foreign affairs reporter for POLITICO