Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Tillerson Says U.S.-Turkish Ties Have Reached a ‘Crisis Point’

  • Two sides pledge to ease strains after top diplomat’s visit
  • Tillerson warns Turkey against buying Russian missile defenses
Mevlut Cavusoglu and State Rex Tillerson on Feb. 16.

Mevlut Cavusoglu and State Rex Tillerson on Feb. 16.

Photographer: Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images

Acknowledging that ties with Turkey are at a “crisis point,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged cooperation with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government but also issued new warnings over the erosion of democratic norms and the country’s plan to sign a defense deal with Russia.

Underscoring the challenges they face, the two sides were unable to resolve any of those challenges even after Tillerson met Erdogan for more than three hours on Thursday and later dispatched top aides to Turkey’s foreign ministry to work through the night toward some sort of agreement.