tv President Trump Turkish President Erdogan Joint News Conference CSPAN November 14, 2019 9:20am-10:01am EST
national resources considers the nomination of dan brouillette. and at 2:00, limiting reproductive health care in states. president trump and turkish president erdogan held a joint news conference talking about terrorism in the middle east and renewed trade talks and president trump announced that they'll release a turkish-american and the news conference was held in the east room of the white house.
the first lady with us today and the first lady of turkey. thank you very much for being here. this is a great honor to have you. and we had a wonderful and very productive meeting. before we start, i would like to thank president erdogan for releasing detainee golga who was in detention, in different forms of detention and i appreciate that very much. that was a very nice tribute and he'll be coming back at some point in the not too distant future. so that's very good news for the united states and also very good news for turkey. turkey, as everyone knows, is a great nato ally and a strategic partner of the united states around the world. our economic relationship has tremendous potential and continues to expand and to
grow, direct engagement of sip mro sip-- diplomacy for peace and prosperity and promise for our citizens. over the course of the day, president erdogan and i had a frank and productive conversation on a range of very important topics, among those topics we discussed was the situation in syria. last month i sent vice-president pence, secretary of state pompeo is with us, national security advisor o'brien, thank you, to meet with president erdogan in the hopes of ending all of the hostilities. the negotiations were very successful and the united states and turkey achieved a tremendous amount on that day and i think we're working toward getting it better and better. it's a complicated situation. it's been going on for hundreds of years.
today the cease-fire continues to hold and i want to thank the president for his partnership and cooperation as we work to build a more stable and peaceful and prosperous middle east. we've assured each other that turkey will continue to uphold what it's supposed to uphold. i'm a big fan of the president, to tell you that, and i know that the cease-fire, while complicated, is moving forward and moving forward at a very rapid clip. there's a lot of people that want to see that work after so many decades and so many centuries, you might say. the united states and turkey are working extensively on many other security issues. turkey has the second largest armed forces in nato after the united states. and they're a very strong second, i might add. i'm pleased that turkey has
been steadily increasing its defense spending and close to the 2% range unlike many other countries. at this moment there are eight over 28 of the countries that are current in terms of their obligation financially. turkey has made a vital contribution to nato's resolute support mission in afghanistan and its partnership was important to our destruction of the isis caliphate. in fact, just recently when we took out al-badhdadi, and take him out, we did. turkey knew that we were going over certain areas. they were very, very helpful, good for both countries, we really appreciate it. we're grateful to president erdogan and the citizens of turkey for their cooperation in the constant struggle against terrorism, he fights it like we do. key to our security
collaboration is our trade defense and military equipment program. american foreign military sales to turkey total many billions of dollars and turkey supplies component parts to many american defense programs. they make parts of the frame, as an example, of the f-35. turkey's acquisition of sophisticated military equipment like this, creates challenges for us, and we'll talk about it today and in the future and hopefully we'll be able to resolve that situation. we've asked our secretary of state, minister of foreign affairs and our respective national security advisors to immediately work on resolving the s-400 issue. we've also recently agreed to work toward a 100 billion dollar two-way trade agreement. secretary ross is here and i think we've made tremendous progress in that.
we have a lot of trade with turkey, but it could be many times larger and turkey would like to see that and it would also be good for united states so we intend to bring it up to about 100 billion dollars. that would be four times what it is right now. our goal is to expand commerce between the united states and turkey and reduce our trade deficit and ensure a truly fair and reciprocal relationship. we are just for those of you that have any interest, we discussed today also our trade agreement with china is moving along very rapidly. we'll see what happens, but it's moving along rapidly. china wants to make a deal that i can tell you. one of my chief priorities as president has been removing the barriers to american trade and investment and ending the illicit practices that harm our workers. we encourage turkey to further open its markets and they are doing that.
they are doing that. they're very much toward american goods and services. our markets are open and turkey is opening up their markets and they're opening up rapidly. mr. president, as we've seen in recent weeks, the u.s. turkey alliance can be a powerful force for security and stability. not only in the middle east, but beyond. i look forward to working with you and to your representatives, i want to thank you very much all for being here. i've gotten to become very familiar with all of you and i appreciate, you're doing a fantastic job for the people of turkey. and i look forward to continuing to find a common ground, harness common purpose and to advance the vital interest of our people and the abiding friendship between our nations. we have an abiding friendship he personally and with the great country of turkey and we look forward to moving that forward and making it an even bigger and better relationship. thank you very much. thank you. >> thank you.
[applaus [applause] >> mr. president and my dear friends, distinguished ministers, secretaries, distinguished members of the press. i would like to at the onset salute you with my utmost emotions on behalf of myself and my nation. first and foremost, i would like to thank my dear friend, president trump and the first lady of the united states for being such gracious hosts today. we've managed to comprehensively discussion all the agendas with the president throughout the day and the discussions were very sincere. we all agreed that we need to further profound our cooperation and turks and americans relations should be on a strong and healthy foundation. i think we should remain
resolved in order to open a chapter in our relations, with our deeply rooted alliance. we have stated our will to fight terrorist organizations a clear and a present danger upon our national security. we have especially underlined the significance of dasch and with the death of baghdadi, we have detained several prisoners trying to free the prisons in syria and come to turkey and we have more than 200 who have been incarcerated and with the operation peace spring initiated october 9th, turkey took another step forward in fighting terrorism in a very resolute fashion. our country, with this
operation, an impact on the terrorist organizations such as ppk. >> in order to further strengthen our cooperation in syria, we believe we have gained a significant momentum with our october 17th agreement or memorandum. but in order to harm this memorandum, pkk and ypg are attacking our soldiers and civilians in a very provocative fashion and in the last 24 hours more than 19 attacks and harassing shots took place. and at the beginning of this month, a bomb was placed, an exclusive device was placed in outdoor market and as a result of the explosion, 13 civilian lives were lost. despite all of those developments, in order to settle the conflict in syria in a sustained fashion, we are reiterating our commitment to our memorandum, our agreement
with the united states. but some circles were empathetic toward these organizations are feeling deeply upset, deeply disturbed and using this information in order to cloud the understanding of the public opinion and that perception with the eventual gain or goal of harming our relations. and some historical developments and allegations are being used in order to dynamite our reciprocal relations, especially in the house of representatives, some of the resolutions that were passed on october 29th served this very purpose and hurt deeply the turkish nation and they have a potential of casting a deep shadow over our bilateral relations and i shared this information with mr. president. the decision makers in an incident that took place about 104 years ago should not be politicians, but historians. we have nothing to hide and
have a full self-esteem in that regard, but i need to state clearly that we are as turkey open for dialog of discussion and debate and we have voiced our proposals to the armenian party to open the archives and establish a history commission. i believe the senate will take this-- take the united states out of this vicious cycle which happens as a result of the resolution of the house of representatives. turkey and the united states stand side by side to fully eliminate dasch and once and for all. turkey remains or it should be the most reliable partner of the united states in this region to achieve these targets. we are the only nato ally as turkey who has fought dasch in
a very resolved fashion and so far we have detained 7684 foreign fighters and sent them back to their countries of origin and entry to 77,000 individuals who are considered to be affiliated with dasch terrorist organization and right now in our prisons, a total of 1,216 dasch members are incarcerated coming from 40 different countries. we have quite recently detained 287 individuals including women and children who have fled the prisons that pkk and wpg used to control-- ypg used to control. our country is being showcased as the target and terrorist organization cost 304 turkey citizens to die and against
which we are going to keep on fighting. and it's very important to understand that the foreign fighters should be accepted by the countries of origin and we have the same understanding with president trump in order to convince the countries of origin to do this. distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we have a borderline kilometers with syria and when the war broke out nine years ago, we were the ones at the forefront, impacted heavily and maybe the most. currently, we have over three million syrian refugees and four million refugees and we've spend-- until so far, europe only sent three billion euros despite a higher pledge. through our ngo's and similarly
we are providing sustained humanitarian aid to the people living on the syrian territory. that could be at 2015 at the g20 italian summit. i launched an appeal in order to launch a safe zone in syria. because of the delay, tens of thousands of civilian lives were lost. this problem cannot continue forever and ever. previously with our operation shield and operation olive branch we have managed to clear an area of 4,000 square kilometers of terrorist presence and if we with the proposals of the president, it's very important to realize our goals. i've said operation shield and operation olive branch and through these operations we've managed to 365,000 syrians back to their motherlands, and
thanks to the operation, we have secured many towns and many villages and the rightful settlers are going back. we have shared our projects with president trump and our several plans for the safe zone and with the support of the united nations and international community we can repatriot many more syrian refugees in the northern part of syria. we're talking about an area, 44 kilometers in length, and one million can be repay-- repatriated. -- the terrorism organization attempted to destroy the constitutional order of turkey with a failed coup attempt and it is a terrorist organization behind this failed coup.
they have killed 251 individuals harming 2,193 citizens and they have even dared to bomb our parliament airborne. we have once again accentuated our expectations vis-a-vis the administration to once and for all eradicate such a presence here. and we have also discussed with president trump how to achieve the 100 billion dollar trade volume threshold as soon as possible. we believe we should not confuse political incidents with commerce related aspirations and our secretaries of commerce are currently heavily invested in the achieving the 100 billion threshold. we hope we'll shy away with measures making it much more challenging for us to reach these targets and we have also quite naturally discussed our
deeper legislation within the defense industry. primarily the s-400 system and the program we can only is your mount the hurdles that we experience through dialog. my dear friend previously stated back in -- the injustice orchestrated against turkey in terms of the acquisition of patriot missiles and we have clearly stated to president trump that under suitable circumstances we could acquire patriot missiles as well. as turkey, we are ready and committed to sustain a very constructive dialog with the united states congress and this is an idea that i've shared with president trump as well. with these thoughts in mind. i hope and pray that our discussions throughout the day with president trump will yield the results. i would like to take this opportunity to thank president trump for the kind -- and
gracious hosts throughout the day on behalf of my personal safe and on behalf of my delegation, i'd like to thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. president. and i called up the senate. i asked a couple of our senators and we really ended up with five, and others wanting to come and we'll keep them apprised, but some of them joined us. they happen to be here, senator jim risch, thank you very much. ted cruz, thank you very much, lindsey graham, lindsey, thank you. and rick scott, thank you, rick, very much, joni is here, joni ernst someplace, these are people that want to see peace in the middle east and i thought it would be appropriate for them to come over and met with the president and we had a lot of frank discussion and we're dealing with a very big subject, a complex subject. it's been going on for centuries in many cases, but we're making a lot of progress. tremendous progress in the middle east. okay. a couple of questions, go
ahead. aon, go ahead. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. >> first i'd like to start getting your general reaction today to the impeachment hearings on the hill. do you feel that the democrats made their case and how do you feel about the republicans' performance. >> you're talking about the witch hunt, is that what you mean? is that what you're talking about? i hear it's a joke. i haven't watched, i haven't watched one minute i've been with the president which is much more important as far as i'm concerned. this is a sham and shouldn't be allowed. it was a situation that was caused by people that shouldn't have allowed it to happen, and i want to find out who the is whistleblower because the whistleblower gave a lot of very incorrect information, including my call with the president of ukraine, which was a perfect call. and highly appropriate, and he wrote something that was much different than the fact. i want to find out why the ig,
why would he have presented that when in fact all he had to do is check the call itself and he would have seen it. i'm going to be releasing, i think, on thursday a second call, which actually was the first of the two, and you'll make a determination as to what you think there. but i've heard just a report they said it's all thirdhand information, nothing direct at all. it can't be direct because i never said it. and all they have to do is look very, very simply at the transcript. if you read the transcript. this was analyzed by great lawyers. this was analyzed by gregg jarrett, by mark levin, by everybody, they said that this statement that i made, the whole call that i made with the president of the ukraine was a perfect one. so that this country gets put through that, that we have to waste this gentleman's time by even think about it, talking about it, i'd much rather focus
on peace in the middle east and i hear that it's-- i hear that it's a hoax and played as a hoax. that's what i hear, but you'll have to tell me. go ahead. >> then if i may on syria and peace in the middle east, president erdogan talked about repatriating syrian refugees back to their homeland. have you had those discussions with european leaders since there are so many-- >> no, i think that frankly europe should be paying for this to a large extent, as of this moment turkey's been paying for most of it. i think the president was saying today, they've spent over 40 billion dollars on the cost of that $40 billion. >> how much? >> 40. >> that's what i said. whatever, he spent a lot, okay? and throwing out the different numbers, i heard it was $40 billion. is 40 billion correct? so $40 billion and i've heard that number from others and
that's a lot. europe has contributed about three. and a lot of these people would go all throughout europe, i mean, it would be a devastating situation for europe because he's got four million people, he has a lot of urge kurds, too, they're helping and taking care of. so i have spoken to europe about it. i think they should help us with isis because many of them left france, left germany, left u.k. and different countries and these countries should help us because if they ever did get released which we won't be doing, if they get released that's where we want to go, to france, germany and u.k. and other countries that are not helping us. i gave them the option, would you like to have them back? and intelligently, they said no thank you, but that's not right. it's not right and it's not fair. i can also tell you that turkey captured, when they-- some escaped during the conflict when they had heavy shooting and, i mean, i think i
know how they happened to escape, but it's one of those things, it doesn't matter because turkey captured everybody that escaped, plus an additional group. when we took over, when i became president, isis was rampant all over the middle east and as of about a month ago, i think lindsey, we can say that we have now 100% of the caliphate. they'll always try and grow, but they haven't been able to do that and what we did last week with al-badhdadi, the absolute founder, the leader set them back and we also got his number two and we have our sights on his number three so they're not going to be growing too fast, but i will say turkey has been helping us a lot. >> so with that, i also have a question for president erdogan. with the-- what you're calling a realignment along the northern syrian border, a lot of christians in that region are feeling very vulnerable, groups on the ground are saying that attacks on christians have
increased under this new policy and that they're not feeling safe any longer, can you guarantee that the turkish government will also protect christians in that region? in fact, there was an attack on-- he and his father this week. >> thank you. on the contrary, caldoni and christian minorities is an area we're especially sensitive about and we have certain different plans. whether it be the ones remaining on the side of syria, who's sank wearies have been destroyed and churches destroyed and we'll see their sanctuary getting revived and churches will be reconstructed so they can go back and start
praying there again and these are the plans that we're making for them. as i said before, the christian minorities, catholics, caldoni living on our side of the border have no problems whatsoever. those remaining on the side of the syrian territory will see their worship being practices restored and revived in a special manner. they're receiving health care and humanitarian aid in every respect possible. thank you. >> thank you very much. would you like to pick somebody? somebody? >> a friendly person from turkey, please. friendly. only friendly reporters. we like to see. there aren't too many of them around. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. u.s. has this burden of obama's flawed foreign policy and one of the flaws aligning the u.s.
with u.s. terror organizations pkk and ypg and the u.s. relations however-- ring leaders of -- and he is responsible for at least 18 terror attacks in turkey, which caused the death of 164 soldiers and 40 civilians. so, after today's meeting do you still think of -- which will be very offensive and hurtful for the turkish public. >> i had a very good talk with him and we had very good recently, and we're working very closely together and we're also working very closely together with your great president, and a lot of things are happening. a lot of very positive developments are happening. a lot of that is definition.
what's your definition of the various groups within the kurds, you call the kurds and various groups and some like them and some don't, but i think we've made a tremendous amount of-- we've gained tremendous amount of momentum and strength so we'll see what happens. i would say that the relationship with president erdogan and turkey has been outstanding and you know, it's a major country with a tremendous military. they're one of our very big purchases of military equipment. they have the finest equipment in the world, which the united states makes. we make by far the best equipment in the world. turkey understood that a long time ago. so i think a tremendous amount of progress is being made, okay? thank you very much. you can ask the president is question now. >> same-- you're sure you're a reporter, you don't work for turkey with that question?
[laughter] >> okay. mr. president, we are not getting the news out of the united states and the federal office targeting turkey is expensively invested in their daily works, but i can see certain traces that the u.s. government is ready to understand more about it. so my question, how do you perceive the situation developing vis-a-vis the federal organization and the organization with regard to fetto. can we expect anything further? >> yes, thank you, during this current visit we are going to submit, as we already have, actually, a great deal of documents and evidence and feto is a terrorist organization and he is the leader, the ring leader of his terrorist
organization. they have killed 251 people in turkey. they tried to undertake a coup against the government, the state and more than 1,000, more than 2,000 people have been injured, and the ring leader is living on an area of 400 acres in the united states, running his network all around the globe. and this is something unacceptable. and during this visit, as i said before, we have introduced an additional array of documents. we will submit them to the relevant authorities, including mr. president, and in the light of these documents, i think we will appreciate the situation. we sent the terrorists back, if they asked for them and i'm sure they will do the same for us. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. >> i know that you didn't spend a lot of time glued to the tv today, but there was one moment ar ambassador taylor recounted
a conversation that an aide of his overheard-- it was the day after the phone call with zelenskiy on which the aide heard how are things proceeding with the investigation. sondland repeated back to you, according to this aide, that the ukraine was prepared to do everything that you wanted it to do. is that correct? and can you fill in some more-- >> i'm not thinking about that. the first time i've heard about it. one thing i've seen that sondland said, he did speak to me for a brief moment and i said no quid pro quo under any circumstances and that's true. the other, i've never heard this. in any event, it's more secondhand information, but i've never heard it. >> do you recall a conversation. >> i don't recall no, know the at all. not even a little bit. the only thing and i guess sondland has stayed with his testimony, there was no quid pro quo, pure and simple, yes,
please. >> president erdogan, president trump sent you a letter on october 9th urging you not to launch a military action into northern syria, he said, quote, don't be a tough guy, don't be a fool. you ignored that letter and you went ahead and launched military action into northern syria, can you explain why you ignored the president's warning? >> well, this letter was represented to mr. president this afternoon and i've also underlined the fact that the terrorists had just-- should not be considered an interlock ter to our country and the united states. and this individual has been instrumental in the killings of
the hundreds of turkish civilians and he is a person labeled as like a son for the terrorist leader who's currently incarcerated in turkey. so, a person like this should not be welcomed by a country such as the united states. and similarly, this person was welcomed by a country such as russia. so it's very difficult for me to understand these, when we're trying to fight terrorism on a global scale. if we're going to sustain our fight against terrorism in a healthy fashion, we need to be much more sensitive than we currently are. it happens to us today and it will happen to somebody else tomorrow is a saying that goes in our language. we have also provided information and the document thereof to our interlocktures
in the white house. and i pointed out to the cia pointing out that this individual a terrorist. to mr. president. and as i've said before i've shared them with his excellency, mr. president, and we gave back the letter that we have received. >> good morning. thank you very much. thank you very much, mr. president, for all you have done for kurdistan and for peshmerga fight against isis. >> thank you very much, i appreciate that. >> my question-- kurdistanies with the middle
east and all minorities. what is your policy on the kurds right now and another question for president erdogan, why are you not able with with the kurds in syria, iraqi secured -- kurdistan, do you think they will be friends. >> thank you very much. we've had a great relationship with the kurds and we fought successfully with them against isis and we have great generals and great equipment and certainly helped a lot, but we were very, very successful and we captured, as i said before, 100%. i was going to, when we were at 97%, i was going to say, well, that sounds pretty high to me and thinking about stopping it then and a lot of people said, please go to 100. and very quickly, very rapidly shall the military got the 100.
i wanted to have that. but we have a great relationship with the kurds. we have had. we're with them now and we get along with them and by the way, the president -- he may have some factions within the kurds, but many kurds live currently in turkey and happy and taken care of, including health care, we were talking about it before, including health care and education and other things. so, that's really a misnomer, but our relationship with the kurds has been a very good one. thank you. >> first, we have to make a distinction between two things. we have no problems with the kurds. we have problems with terrorist organizations, some terrorists coming out of the kurds, which part, are they ypg and off
shoots of the terrorist pkk and just as we have no problems with our brothers and sisters in northern iraq where we have enjoy great relations and we have no problems with system lahrly our brothers and sisters in the northern parts of syria. during the times when assad was not recognizing kurdish presence in the northern part, i told him that he needs to give these individuals passports and that he was making a mistake. and secondly, there's something very important i want you to know this, my political party has more than 50 m p's of kurdish ethnicity in the turkish parliament. we don't have problems with the kurds, but we have problems with the terrorists. of course you're not going to own up to the terrorists, are you, whoever they are, whoever they might be, but we have to make a distinction here. we're just fighting terrorists period because the terrorists don't have an ethnicity, they don't have a nationality, they don't have a flag.
if they're terrorists, that is a terrorist. if you don't fight back, then tomorrow you will have to pay a very hefty price. thank you. >> thank you very much, everybody. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> when did you last speak with rudy guiliani? when did-- [inaudible conversation [inaudible conversations] >> c-span2 is taking you live to the senate floor where lawmakers will work on judicial confirmation, a vote for the u.s. court of appeals judge for the 2nd circuit, which covers
connecticut, new york and vermont. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal father, the source of light and life, we praise your holy name. because of you we live, and move, and have our being. remind us that we are not adequate for our daily tasks without your strength and abiding presence.