WASHINGTON — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan landed in Washington on Tuesday and is scheduled to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House on Wednesday morning, despite strong bipartisan criticism of the visit.
Erdogan is expected to receive a warm welcome from Trump when he reaches the White House. Elsewhere in Washington, however, the reception for him has been cold.
– Haaretz Weekly 12/11
Wednesday's meeting will take place at the same time as the House holds its first public hearings as part of the impeachment process against Trump — a coincidence that will no doubt lead to a “split screen” situation in media coverage.
Democratic members of the House of Representatives will begin presenting a case against Trump regarding his attempts to get the government of Ukraine to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. At the same time, Trump will be with Erdogan, discussing the situation in Syria and more broadly in the Middle East.
Turkey and the United States are long-standing allies: Both countries are members of NATO and Turkey hosts a strategic U.S. military base on its soil. But in recent years there have been growing tensions in the relationship. Some of those tensions concern Erdogan’s repression of the opposition in Turkey and his use of antidemocratic measures to promote his agenda.
Members of Congress have accused the Turkish president of ruling autocratically, supporting terror groups in the Middle East and having overly friendly relations with Iran.
Trucks lit with advertisements touting Turkey drive the streets near the White House on the eve of Erdogan’s visit in Washington, November 12, 2019.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
At the same time, there are also disagreements between the two countries in the fields of foreign policy and national security.