Thanks to Trump, Turkey is not alone
What will be the next step? Will United States President Donald Trump sign a Presidential Directive and give it to John Bolton, his National Security Adviser to do whatever is necessary to “save” evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson from being tried in Turkey, in the Western city of İzmir where the NATO Land Command is based? Or will he voluntarily withdraw its military presence from the strategic İncirlik base and shut down the Malatya radar station of the Missile Shield operation? Or will he keep tweeting at hours Turkish markets are not awake to accelerate the decline of the already depreciating Turkish Lira? Or will he tell the grocer not to sell bread to Turkey, as the Turkish saying goes? Where will this end?
Does the U.S. president really, sincerely think the actions and sanctions against Turkey will work? They did not work against Iraq in the 1990s. Iraq could be put down through military action. They did not work in the 2000s against Russia, who even grew strong enough to influence the U.S. elections.
It is something favorable if Turkey and the U.S. are on good terms, with better cooperation in mutual respect but to repeat once again, Turkey does not owe its existence to the U.S. and will not cease to exist without it.
If Trump had not stretched the limits of his reaction against the ongoing arrest of Brunson in Turkey up to the limit of playing with the bread and butter of the people on the street, the Turkish people would be unaware of the fact they are not as lonely in this world as their leaders have been telling them.
Trump’s actions and sanctions on the Turkish economy and defense in targeting President Tayyip Erdoğan not only has had a rally-around-the-flag effect as anyone who has read a bit of political history would guess, but has also told the Turkish people they have friends around the world who care for them.
Be it in their own interest or by seizing an opportunity to say something against Trump’s policies, which bother many economies from China to the European Union, voices have been raised by those who have taken a stand by Turkey. Before this currency crisis, there were only a few of them; Azerbaijan and Qatar, who have been the most loyal of them.
However, right after Trump started to use the American economic power as a political tool on Turkey, not only Russia, Iran and China have had a chance to stand against the U.S., but European NATO allies like Germany and Italy have also started to lobby for Turkey, without withdrawing their criticism regarding the direction of its democracy and economy.
This has to stop somewhere, the sooner the better. An attitude like “no talks before the release of Brunson” has no place in modern politics; it was over in Napoleonic times in the 19th century. If it comes to frustration, as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, Turkish people are more frustrated, as long as no legal action is taken against Fethullah Gülen, the Islamic preacher based in the U.S. who is accused of masterminding the 2016 coup attempt from there.