Making Turkey Look Good

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN

Turkey’s usual good luck is kicking in again.

In the last week, there have been at least three developments that have started neutralizing the damage to Turkey caused by Erdoğan’s arrogance and presumptuousness on the international scene.

The strange case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is the most obvious. Saudi Arabia’s (highly likely) killing of this man is making Turkey look good. There are clearly all kinds of games going on with Turkey trying to play this situation to get the most out of it behind the scenes. Regardless, since Turkey is seemingly on the side of “law and order” while leaking lurid details of what may well have been a murder/dismemberment. Ankara is showing itself as a party to this mess that is standing up to the kingdom that still cuts off hands and heads, while just recently, barely, starting to allow women to drive.

Trump is doing his usual dance. One minute he comes up with an “explanation” suggesting it was rogue elements within Saudi Arabia that murdered Khashoggi, and the next he says he’s waiting to get the audio proof the Turks claim they have of the murder, which, supposedly Vice President Pence will get during his trip to Turkey. Clearly, Turkey is trying to get a payoff from both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, it’s really obscene. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Erdoğan laid a trap for Saudi Arabia. How else can we explain the “fact” that the Turkish government has a recording of what allegedly occurred INSIDE the Saudi consulate?

Then we have the release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who lived and worked in Turkey for two decades before being arrested for supporting the PKK and Gulen organizations’ “terrorist” activities. By all accounts, this is ridiculous, and Erdoğan finally seems to have recognized he wasn’t going to be able to blackmail the U.S. into an exchange of Brunson for Fethullah Gulen who remains safely ensconced in his Pennsylvania redoubt. So he cut his losses and arranged to “drop” some of the charges against Brunson and let him off with time served for the others. But what is not being loudly publicized is that the U.S. agreed to quietly ease up on the economic measures it took against Turkey over the last few months. But again, Turkey gets to “look good” for releasing a guy who never should have been jailed in the first place!

The third example is a bit more subtle. It involves Turkey’s role in Syria. It seems Ankara played an important role in settling things down enough so that the carnage anticipated from the Syrian army’s attack on Idlib province has been averted for now. Idlib is where the last of the various rebel forces (mostly Turkey-supported) have retreated. There is another pocket IS-Daesh in the desert areas, according to a map, but that is very thinly populated.

It seems Turkey’s warming relations with Russia, coupled with its intent to continue buying Iranian petro-products despite the re-asserted U.S. embargo, gave significant leverage with both of those countries. Moscow and Tehran seem to have prevailed on Damascus to hold off. Both sides are supposed to create a heavy-arms free zone. So, imagine, Turkey is going to hold itself out as a “peacemaker” when it was one of the parties responsible for the civil war in Syria!

See what I mean by Turkish luck?

Finally, there is also the comment made by outgoing Ambassador Richard Mills. Before leaving Yerevan, Mills gave an interview. For a detailed critique of Mills’ comments, see Ara Khachatourian’s “Good Riddance to the Tone Deaf U.S. Ambassador Mills.” His most outlandish assertion (other than that some lands must be “exchanged” with Azerbaijan for peace) is that the reason for the oligarchic economic system that has been bleeding Armenia is the blockade from its east and west. This, he argues, coupled with the small size of Armenia’s economy makes it easy for a few people to control markets. Perhaps the good ambassador could explain to us what “blockades” account for the same oligarchic system coming into existence in economies large and small throughout the former Soviet Union. But the subtlety here is that Turkey and Azerbaijan get off without being named as the blockaders, in violation of international law, no less.

Push back. Disseminate these obvious inconsistencies. Talk up Turkey’s real nature and policies, especially under Erdoğan’s rule.

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7 Comments

  1. Ari said:

    As always, Turks have their own agenda and know exactly how to play the geopolitical game. Let’s not fool ourselves into believing that the Turks are trying to do the ‘right thing’. Erdogan and his nationalist Islamist dictatorial regime can hardly claim the moral high ground. Turks only see an opportunity here and they are licking their chop sticks. Once they get their concessions, it will all be swept under the rug and forgotten. Turks’ American, European and Russian masters are no less guilty of hypocrisy, to say the least.

    • Raffi said:

      Armenians to recover from their shortcomings, they should work smartly, work hard, and faithfully towards their motherland, so that after a generation or two they can become a global player, where money talks and bull sht walks.

  2. Raffi said:

    Not enough, Turkey’s situation in the area is totally walking on mines, after few months nobody will remember about what happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Geopolitical bets are too high to forgive Erdo’s back stabbings and lack of reliabilities with Nato, in Syria, the purchase of S-400 and the list goes on, Erdo can kiss President Trump’s S, but nothing much is going to change.

  3. Zartir Lao said:

    We don’t need to push back against “Turkish Luck” – we need to push back against ridiculous, weak, and incompetent Armenian “leadership”. Armenia can’t even protect its villages from a rinky-dink nation like Azerbaijan, and here we are talking about geopolitics with giant powers. Armenia can’t do anything about Turkey. Armenia CAN do something about Azerbaijan, and hasn’t done a damn thing for 30 years. Stop wasting your time with Turkey, until Azerbaijan is solved. And of course, Russia would not have it, because Armenia is a weak nation who follows orders like a good little servant instead of making demands and taking action for its future prosperity. Armenia’s government is afraid of its own shadow, because that’s how thieves are. When you are enriching yourself, problems and attention is the last thing you need. The problem with Armenia is, we don’t have a patriotic government, and never have. If we did, Russia would be sitting down at the table with Armenia every week complaining about Armenia’s actions against it’s other wonderful client-state called Azerbaijan. But Armenians are too stupid, lazy and careless to see their future needs. We only take action when the knife reaches the bone, that’s why we are destined for mediocrity, and that’s exactly our state of existence for the past century. We don’t know how to deal with the USA, and most importantly, we don’t know how to deal with Russia. Then again, what do you expect when we don’t even know how to deal with ourselves. We are a nation of losers and beggars, that’s why every nation on earth walks all over us.

  4. ALEX POSTALLIAN said:

    The voting right was a given to the people, by honorable men,TODAY YOU HAVE SO MANY CROOKS IN POLITICS,ON THE TAKE,WHO WONT WORK FOR A HONEST LIVING.THEY SELL US DOWN THE RIVER,TO ANYONE FOR A BUCK.

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