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Brushing Aside Tensions, Trump Praises Erdogan as Ally in Terrorism Fight

Mr. Erdogan praised Mr. Trump for the “legendary triumph” he had achieved in the election and declared that his first meeting with the new president would be a “historical turn of tide” in the Turkish-American relationship.

“We are committed to fighting all forms of terrorism, without any discrimination whatsoever, that impose a clear and a present threat upon our future,” Mr. Erdogan said through a translator.

As he has with other strongman leaders, like President Xi Jinping of China and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Mr. Trump has signaled support for Mr. Erdogan far beyond that afforded him by Mr. Obama, with whom he had an initially productive relationship that deteriorated after the autocratic turn in Mr. Erdogan’s leadership.

Last month, Mr. Trump called Mr. Erdogan to congratulate him on winning a much-disputed referendum that cemented his autocratic rule over Turkey and, many analysts say, eroded its democratic institutions. And Mr. Trump has not pressed Mr. Erdogan on human rights abuses in his country, including a broad crackdown on the news media and strict detention policies.

Amnesty International said the meeting would be “an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the way that President Trump and President Erdogan are contributing to a global climate of toxic and dehumanizing politics.”

“President Trump recently praised President Erdogan for winning a referendum in which dissenting opinions were ruthlessly suppressed, yet President Trump has been silent on Turkey’s alarming crackdown on the media,” said Margaret Huang, the executive director of Amnesty International USA. “The world will be watching, hoping that both presidents will reaffirm their commitments to protecting human rights.”

In March, Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, traveled to Ankara and showered praise on Mr. Erdogan’s government, but the visit — intended to reassure Turkey, a partner in the fight against the Islamic State and a regional bulwark against Iran — was tinged with bitterness over Turkey’s grievances.

At that meeting, Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, called on the United States to cut off aid to the Y.P.G. and said American law enforcement should arrest Mr. Gulen. He accused Preet Bharara, the former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was fired by Mr. Trump, of being a pawn of anti-Turkish forces, and called a federal investigation into businessmen with ties to Mr. Erdogan “political.”

White House officials have said that Mr. Trump has no interest in lecturing foreign leaders about human rights. He would prefer to make deals with them in areas of common interest, these officials said, believing that pressure on human rights generally backfires.

Human rights groups have compiled a long list of abuses by Mr. Erdogan, from the thousands of public officials, academics and others cashiered or jailed for their purported involvement in the coup attempt, to the recent referendum, which granted Mr. Erdogan wide-ranging new powers that critics say could essentially gut Turkey’s parliamentary system.

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