BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN
As the conflict between Turkey and United States is heating up, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is too stupid to realize that by continuing to hold American Pastor Andrew Brunson on trumped-up charges, he is undermining Turkey’s economy and its membership in NATO. Any other intelligent Turkish leader would have released Pastor Brunson a long time ago and maintained military and trade relations with the United States.
Even though the Turkish government is paying millions of dollars a year to hire high-powered American lobbying and public relations firms, none of them can protect Turkey’s reputation from Erdogan’s erratic behavior. Every time he opens his mouth and takes an inept action, Erdogan further damages Turkey’s relations with other countries, reminding the world and reinforcing the long-established image of the “Barbarian Turk.”
Here is an example of the negative PR generated by Erdogan against his own country in the American media. Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery on Fox Business TV, Trump’s favorite channel, delivered the following devastating attack against Erdogan on August 16, 2018. In addition to millions of Americans who watched her commentary on TV, 662,000 others saw it on Facebook and many more on Twitter. Kennedy even mentioned the Armenian Genocide, as a way of getting back at Turkey!
“How do I despise thee Erdogan? Let me count the ways. The Turkish president is putting his country in a diplomatic pickle by refusing to free an American Pastor over ‘terrorism charges.’ The fake crime is a bunch of hot malarkey, a rancid plate of Turkish non-delight; and although Erdogan has been concentrating his power to fake elections, imprisoning journalists, and purging academics, he didn’t bet that he would be strong-armed by another strong man. Our president has had it up to his eyeballs with Turkey trolling, and instead of empty words, Trump is offering a full-throttled digital slap to Erdogan, tweeting: ‘I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!’”
Kennedy continued her criticism by stating: “When were they [relations with Turkey] ever good? The Turkish government is a disgrace, and past administrations have either coddled them or sat idly by while they’ve rolled out the welcome mat and threw the door open for ISIS, all while cozying up to Russia. This is not our strategic partner. This is a corrupt, murderous regime that should be kicked out of NATO for a host of human rights violations, not to mention deep kissing the Russians who are supposedly the biggest regional threat. Now, sure, there have been counter-threats. Now Erdogan is saying he will pull the iPhone off the market as if the people there can use the device to mobilize, enrich themselves or seek freedom from a murderous regime that wants total control, and is willing to tank the global economy to prove a childish point! And while we are at it, and while the president [Trump] is hot under the collar, if he really wants to make his new party pal Kim Kardashian happy, he should officially, and once and for all, acknowledge the Armenian Genocide which was not ‘an issue’ or ‘a series of unfortunate events,’ but a cold-blooded slaughter of 1.5 million people whose memory will not be erased by any Napoleonic nincompoop. Release Pastor Andrew Brunson, President Erdogan, and fear [Trump’s National Security Advisor John R. Bolton’s] moustache [as] Bolton is mongering, so for the sake of world peace put up and shut up so you don’t get blown up!”
To make matters worse for Erdogan, Trump told American journalists on August 17, 2018: “Turkey has been a problem for a long time. They have not acted as a friend. We will see what happens. They have a wonderful Christian pastor. He is a wonderful man, Pastor Brunson. They made this phony charge that he is a spy, and he is not a spy. He is going through a trial right now, if you call it a ‘trial.’ They should have given him back a long time ago. And Turkey has, in my opinion, acted very, very badly. So we have not seen the last of that. We are not going to take it sitting down. They can’t take our people. So you will see what happens!”
Before Armenians get too impressed with Trump’s threatening words, they must remember that despite Turkey’s anti-U.S. and anti-NATO policies for several decades, the West has kept heaping praises on Turkish leaders. No one in the West has had the guts to put Turkey in its place. If tomorrow, the unpredictable Erdogan releases Pastor Brunson, I am afraid Trump will start praising Erdogan once again, as he has done with Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Trump should not forget that in addition to holding Pastor Brunson, Turkey invaded and occupied Northern Cyprus in 1974, banned the crossing of American troops into Northern Iraq from Turkey during the Iraq War, attacked the Kurdish allies of the United States in Northern Syria, is planning to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system contrary to NATO’s admonition, helped circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, and supported the entry of ISIS terrorists to Syria from Turkey.
Even after Pastor Brunson is liberated, Turkey should not be forgiven for its many indiscretions. As numerous analysts have recently suggested, Turkey should be immediately kicked out of NATO!
Russia is waiting in the wings to take in Turkey. This is perhaps the worst outcome for Armenia. Once the Russians and Turkey cozy up, there is no telling what Putin will do to Armenia. This is indeed a very crucial moment in Russo-Armenian relations. It’s best to return to the status quo between the US and Turkey so Russia can continue to “protect” Armenia for its geopolitical interests.
@State of Emergency: The best solution divide Turkey into smaller countries, and balance the geopolitical borders between Russia and US once for all,
Absolutely. I have been expressing that point of view for a while. The only solution that makes sense. Turkey should be broken up into its ethnic components.
Russia cozying up to Turkey brings to mind the famous words of the Godfather:
“Keep your friends close, and you enemies even closer.” No love lost there.
Dear Mr. Sassounian, Don’t be fooled by a Superpower & his puppet Bus. News trash talks directed to the mini super power as if the dispute is on a poor pastor, not at all, this theatrical fight will end totally after US mid-term elections are won by GOP by the help of Armenian votes specially in Calif. simply because of using the Armenian Genocide Card also used by Israel once having a severe dispute with Turkey. Be aware of the shame left on Armenians when the two powers make peace, as usual.
Turkey may suffer in short time but will get out stronger ,USA and the west never like Turkey, they give Turkey NATO membership just as first line diffence against Russia ,and the buying of s400 from Russia was a response to us refusing the selling of tomahawk missiles, more than that USA are helping PKK and wpg wich Turkey and the west consider a terror organisations just on Turkey backyard.. Stop your hypocrisy, bulshit
Yes Turkey will come out stronger by the help of Russia or US to be used as a mad dog like it was used by Germany in WWI, US in Correa, and middle east against ISIS and now, this time around, it’s Russia’s turn, waiting to take advantage of the anarchy Trump has created maybe to help Putin for his helps in ellections.
@ Saber: you are forgetting that Turkey developed and became a modern country thanks to the West and Nato, with their hard earned taxpayers money, loyalty and gratitude is not in the DNA of Turks
The banning the crossing of American troops into Northern Iraq from Turkey during the Iraq War cost US taxpayers Billions of Dollars lost and caused thousands of American brave soldiers lives. With friends like Turkey, US don’t need enemies.
Raffi, US knows how to tame that “Enemy” when the need arises and Turkey has shown pride to be hired and tamed by US/NATO to be used as a mad dog.
Let’s see if the liberals yapping CNN can say something in the same line. I doubt it since they don’t want to give any credit to our President.
Why is trump about to recognize the Armenian Genocide?
I doubt if all this hoo-ha has anything to do with an unknown pastor, otherwise I agree with most points mentioned in the article.