Turkey's Erdogan Says He Won't Forget 'Lack of Respect' in Trump's Letter and 'Necessary Steps' Will Be Taken

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly said Friday that President Donald Trump's letter urging Turkey not to launch a military offensive in northern Syria was out of line with diplomatic customs and that necessary action will be taken.

According to the British media outlet The Independent, Erdogan said in a press conference that Trump's letter "was not in line with diplomatic and political courtesy."

"We will not forget this lack of respect. 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," Erdogan added.

BBC editor Jon Sopel also reported that Erdogan called out Trump's letter and said he wouldn't soon forget the lack of respect shown to his country.

Wow. #Erdogan tells news conference the letter sent by @realDonaldTrump telling him not to be a ‘tough guy’ wasn’t in line with diplomatic or political customs. He said they wouldn’t forget the lack of respect. “When the time comes necessary steps will be taken” pic.twitter.com/PU9062krr6

— Jon Sopel (@BBCJonSopel) October 18, 2019

Trump's letter, dated October 9, was initially obtained by a reporter from Fox Business and confirmed by the White House as authentic. In it, Trump urged Erdogan: "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!"

Trump also warned in the letter that he would destroy the Turkish economy if the country went too far in its invasion, which happened after Trump decided to withdraw U.S. troops from the region. That decision was slammed by Democrats and Republicans alike as a "disaster" and "betrayal."

Nikki Haley, Trump's former ambassador to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter that "we must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. #TurkeyIsNotOurFriend."

In his letter to Erdogan, Trump also asserted that "history will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen."

The document was quickly ridiculed for its adolescent language, and many Twitter users even thought the letter was a hoax. Attorney George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, tweeted that satire site The Onion "might as well shut down, because it can't do better than this."

In response to the letter, Turkish sources told the BBC that "President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin."

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Erdogan on Thursday to discuss the crisis in Syria. According to Pence, he and the Turkish leader brokered a five-day cease-fire for the region. But on Friday morning, clashes were reported to be continuing on the border between Turkey and Syria despite the agreement.

turkey recep erdogan responds trump letter
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, on October 7. In a Friday press conference, Erdogan said that President Donald Trump's letter about bombing in northern Syria wasn't in line with diplomatic customs and that "necessary steps will be taken." Oliver Bunic/AFP/Getty Images