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Time for Tillerson to repair U.S. ties with Turkey

rally in Ankara
An Ankara rally in support of the Turkish military's attack on YPG soliders in Syria. Photo: Adem Altan / AFP / Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's trip to Turkey offers a reminder that while Turks are divided 50-50 on many political issues — including their feelings toward President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — they broadly oppose the U.S. policy of working with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

Why it matters: Most Turks object to U.S. partnership with the YPG — an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is viewed as a terrorist group by Turkey and its NATO allies. Secretary Tillerson needs to assure the Turks that the U.S. policy was a temporary and tactical alliance, and that Washington is ready to wean itself away from the YPG now that the Islamic State has been defeated in Syria.