U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan as a friend despite tensions between the two countries over Turkish security officials involved in street fighting with protesters during a visit to Washington in May.
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Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Trump hailed Erdogan's leadership in Turkey and said Erdogan "has become a friend of mine."
"I think now we're as close as we've ever been," he said.
Trump added that Erdogan is getting very high marks for his leadership
Eleven people were hurt in what Washington's police chief described as a brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador's residence. Ankara blamed the violence on groups linked to Kurdish militants fighting an armed campaign in southeastern Turkey.
Erdoğan claimed Tuesday night after addressing the United Nations that President Trump called him last week and apologized for the violent brawl between Turkish bodygaurds and protesters.
Erdoğan said on"PBS NewsHour" that Trump had “called me about a week ago about this issue.”
“He said that he was sorry and that he was going to follow up on this issue when we come to the United States within the framework for an official visit,” Erdoğan continued.