In a Letter to Erdogan, Trump Says ‘Don’t Be Fool’

In a letter that rocked social media, President Trump called on his Turkish counterpart not to be a tough man. “Don’t be a fool,” he says in an undiplomatic address.

Abdullah Ayasun
4 min readOct 16, 2019
U.S. President Donald J. Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan

As the Turkish-U.S. relations endure a widening chasm over an unfolding Turkish military offensive against a U.S. ally in northern Syria, President Donald J. Trump sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart, calling on him “not to be a fool.”

The letter, as much as the wording in it, took entire social media off balance, with people agonizing to make sense of the undiplomatic nature of Trump’s language.

“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Trump says in his warning to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The content of the letter, no less than the context that generated it, was bewildering, to say the least.

The relationship between the two NATO allies slid into a deepening rift after Turkey rebuffed repeated warnings from…



Abdullah Ayasun

Boston-based journalist and writer. Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. On art, culture, politics and everything in between. X: @abyasun