A Most Troublesome Partner in War or Peace

 

 

By Sigrid Weidenweber

Perhaps you noticed the two articles about Turkey and its leader Erdogan in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, November 14, 2019, and noticed that both articles expressed troubling observation. The first article by Vivian Salma and Michael Gordon was headlined

Trump-Erdogan Meeting Yields Little Progress.

President Trump, desperate to keep the Middle East pacified agreed to meet with President Recip Tayyip Erdogan at the White House despite misgivings about Turkey’s purchase of Russian air defense system, and Turkey’s punishing military pursuit of our Kurdish allies.

The meeting, although held amid cordial pronouncements, ended in a stand-off. Turkey will not cease Purchasing Russia’s S-400 air-defense missile system—a major concern for the Pentagon—for they could be used by the Kremlin to gather intelligence from the U. S.’s stealth jet fighters promised to be sold to Turkey. As Turkey went ahead with the purchase of S-400s, the U. S. suspended the sale of the jet fighters to Turkey. Furthermore, the U. S. stopped Turkey’s role in the production program in the manufacture of 900 parts of the F 35s.

On the question of the Kurds, Erdogan remained stoic. In the end the meeting was frustratingly empty of progress.

I have commented, in past articles, on Turkey becoming ever-more a rogue Islamic entity, distancing itself from its Western allies. The new alliance with Putin does not bode well.

The second article by Warren P. Strobel concerned itself with Turkey’s use of a Washington law firm to spy on its

Dissidents in the U. S. the information gathered by order of the Turkish Embassy in Washington was then delivered to Turkish prosecutors in Turkey. At the heart of the spy-operation is Erdogan’s pathological hatred for Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric, living in exile the United States since the 1990s. Erdogan, the Islamist, is fighting a war to exterminate all of moderate Islam. At the White House meeting Erdogan presented documents to support his many demands that Mister Gulen be extradited to Turkey. The State Department documents 600,000 investigations opened by Turkey to arrest people who are considered members of Mr. Gulen’s movements. In Turkey proper, 80,000 people have been incarcerated. Furthermore, the State Department reports on human rights violations concerning forced disappearances, torture and deprivation. The prison conditions are such that suspicious death have occurred.

Warren P. Strobel writes that in 2017 the Turkish Embassy turned to the Washington law firm, Saltzman & Envich PPLC, which has long represented Turkish interest in the U. S., to gather information on people associated with Mr. Gulen. Their report drawn from open-source information was transmitted to Turkey’s Foreign and Justice ministries. And went from there to Ankara’s chief public prosecutors, as well as prosecutors in Istanbul and other venues. I am one of many Americans who find it troublesome that one of our law firms mines public data for a president, who is fast becoming an Ottoman Pasha.

As one evaluates the damning reports arising from Turkey, one must wonder why President Trump still valiantly tries to keep the relationship going with a country that is going rogue. It must be of the utmost importance for the President to keep the Middle East pacified, otherwise one cannot imagine why he extends so much good-will toward Turkey when Erdogan’s very sight should make him recoil.

By the way, Recip Tayyip Erdogan is the richest politician in Turkey with $58 million. One of his sons is worth $80 million, and another is Italy in exile because he was involved in criminal activity.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.


 Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on Amazon.com


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