A copy of a controversial letter former US president Donald Trump wrote to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2019 in which he warned Erdoğan against a Turkish incursion into Syria is on display at a bar in his midtown Manhattan tower.
The 45 Wine and Whiskey bar, a reference to Trump having served as the 45th president of the United States and opening in November 2021, serves a range of president-themed drinks with dozens of photos of the former president hung on its walls in addition to documents and materials from his years as head of state, according to a Guardian report in 2022.
Monica Marks, a professor of Middle East politics at NYU Abu Dhabi, brought the letter to public attention on Twitter.
In Midtown Manhattan, tucked into Trump Tower, is 45–the 45th president’s official bar.
It plays kitschy 70s hits (“Do the Hustle”) & is covered in gilt-framed photos from Trump’s presidency.
And it displays this insane 2019 letter Trump penned to Erdogan ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/C1rEnsJLbM
— Monica Marks (@MonicaLMarks) May 18, 2023
The letter Trump wrote to Erdoğan in which he attempted to persuade the Turkish president to reverse a decision for a military operation against Kurdish militia forces that were US allies is also on display at the bar.
“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!” Trump told Erdoğan in the letter, which was released by the White House at the time.
“Let’s work out a good deal!” Trump said. “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.”
Trump had the letter released to bolster his view that he did not give Turkey a green light to invade Syria as many US lawmakers were sharply critical of his decision to remove American forces from the conflict zone at the time.
“I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal,” Trump said in the letter.
Erdoğan described the letter as “impolite” at the time, saying: “We haven’t forgotten this, and it’s not right to forget. But our mutual respect prevents us from keeping it on the agenda.”
Turkish presidential sources told media back then that President Erdoğan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the trash.