>> Vice President Joe Biden in Turkey Wednesday on an urgent mission to repair a once solid relationship gone sour. Foreign policy reporter, Warren Strobel.>> As Vice President Biden sits down for talks with senior Turkish officials in Ankara, the relationship between these two longtime Cold War allies is probably at its most fractious and divisive in decades.
>> Strobel says differences over Syria top the list.>> In Syria where the two countries have tried to work together but have had important strategic differences with the United States focused on the defeat of Islamic State and the closing of the border between Syria and Turkey. Turkish President Erdogan is much more focused, or has been up until now, on getting rid of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, basically a regime change there.
>> That’s a particular worry since the US bombing campaign against ISIS depends crucially on the use of Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base. Another sore spot between the US and Turkey, Erdogan’s aggressive purge after the recent coup attempt.>> Many of the Turkish military officials that the United States had engaged with and worked with on the fight against the Islamic State, and on closing the border between Turkey and Syria, they were the very ones who had been arrested for alleged coup plotting.
>> All of this adding up to sharply differing agendas.>> Vice President Biden will try to urge the Turks to do even more against Islamic State, to join in with the US in the ultimate defeat of that group. And I think he will also press President Erdogan to ease back a little bit on the widespread detentions and arrests.
The Turkish priority, as they've made plain in the lead up to Biden's visit there, is they want the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the personality who lives in the United States and who Turkey blames for being the mastermind of the alleged coup.>> US officials say Gulen would only be turned over, if ever, through a gradual legal process.
So that issue, for one, will not be solved during Biden's visit.