DALLAS – President Donald Trump's unusual letter to Turkey counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he told the country's president "don't be a tough guy" and "don't be a fool!" over his invasion into Syria – did not get a good review from the recipient.
"President Trump's letter, which did not go hand in hand with political and diplomatic courtesy, has appeared in the media," Erdogan told reporters on Friday. "Of course we haven't forgotten it. It would not be right for us to forget it."
Erdogan also said, "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." He did not elaborate.
Meanwhile, Turkey's ambassador to the U.S., Serdar Kilic, told PBS' NewsHour that "I hope history will not record that letter,” and it should never have been sent because "it lacks all the niceties, and it’s void of any established practices in that regard."
Trump sent the letter days after announcing he would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, allowing Turkish troops to attack Kurdish allies who helped the U.S. fight ISIS. Trump took severe criticism for the move, which critics argue is an abandonment of a U.S. ally and one to inject chaos into the region.
The White House confirmed the authenticity of the Oct. 9 letter in which Trump demanded that Erdogan call off his invasion of northern Syria, advice the Turkish leader pretty much ignored.
"Let's work out a good deal!" Trump said to Erdogan. "You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy – and I will."
He ended it by saying: "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. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!"
A BBC report claimed Erdogan angrily threw the letter in the trash after reading it.
Erdogan's dismissal came after he and U.S. negotiators agreed to a cease-fire, a development for which Trump took credit.
The Turkish president is "a friend of mine and I'm glad we didn't have a problem because frankly, he's a hell of a leader and he's a tough man," Trump told reporters during a trip to Texas. "He's a strong man. And, he did the right thing."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump's 'tough guy' letter is dismissed by Turkey's Erdogan