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Middle East Press (17 May 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Trump’s Policies Take Extremists by Surprise: New Age Islam's Selection, 17 May 2017

New Age Islam Edit Bureau

17 May 2017

Trump’s Policies Take Extremists By Surprise

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

The UN’s Silence About Israeli Apartheid

By Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi

Egypt’s Future Rests On Its People’s Shoulders

By Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor

Will Turkey Burn Its Bridges With The US?

By Murat Yetkin

White House Vs The Russia House

By Ahu Ozyurt

President Erdogan’s Road Map As AKP Chairman

By Serkan Demirtas

The Rendezvous

By Ysuf Kanli

Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau


Trump’s Policies Take Extremists by Surprise

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

16 May 2017

I believe nothing has angered extremists, be them regimes or organized radical groups, as much as the policies of US President Donald Trump has done.

Trump surprised them with his policies and speed of movement in the Middle East, and that is quite the opposite of what his predecessor did; the former president’s approach was to keep his government passive and neutral, and later on, he tried to reconcile with extremists.

Since his first day in the White House, Trump chose government officials who agree with his intention to target extremism, including governments, such as the Iranian. The other surprise is that the president has immediately embarked on the missions in Iraq and Syria, as well as Yemen; thus it was not just an election speech.

When analyzing the new US policy, some believed that Trump would be controlled by the nuclear deal binding his country, and that he would be against Muslim countries without distinguishing between them. However, his Government had accepted to respect the deal and insisted that Tehran should abide by its strict implementation.

Obama Rule

Trump did not want to be controlled by the deal, unlike Obama who has been silent on the serious abuses that Iran has done, whether through its military expansion in Iraq and Syria, by the oppression in the waterways when it fired at US naval forces and others, or by smuggling arms across the sea to Yemeni or Bahraini militias.

Washington considers that all of the above are unacceptable and will be dealt with accordingly. Thus, Tehran’s regime did not use the nuclear deal as an advantage in imposing its interests and programs at the expense of others.

On the other hand, President Trump is determined to deal with terrorism, not only as a security issue but as an integral political movement. He surprised everyone with his project and actions that began when he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the White House; a program was drawn up to determine the allies he plans to cooperate with.

He decided later on to send an important message when he said that his first visit would be to Riyadh and he decided to come to the Islamic world to hear from and listen to their leaders. They will consequently begin joint actions to control extremism and terrorism.

The relations project, in which the Emirates played an important role, within the bilateral Saudi-Emirati cooperation on all levels, is unprecedented and very important in terms of type and size. The visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, to the White House comes also in line with these actions.

Trump’s Approach

Now Trump is taking his first step towards his grand project: eradicating terror in terms of ideology, organization and networks. At the Riyadh Islamic summit, which will be attended by 50 Islamic countries, almost all of them agreed to attend and dialogue with the US president. This is a serious step that cannot be compared to what former President Obama did; he made a couple of speeches to urge the cooperation with the Muslim world and that was it.

There is no doubt that Obama’s speech was beautiful, but the mistake was that he did nothing else. He thought that neutrality was the best policy for his country. During the long absence of the US, ISIS grew stronger and more dangerous than al-Qaeda. Violence spread throughout the world, threatening everyone.

We are witnessing a collective project, Muslim governments and individuals are involved in it, and that is the difference. Trump’s policy lies in transferring responsibilities to the international community, especially to Muslim countries. This is the right step, instead of dropping the accusations through the media and be limited to security pursuits.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/world/2017/05/16/Trump-s-policies-take-extremists-by-surprise-.html


The UN’s Silence about Israeli Apartheid

By Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi

The withdrawal of a UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report led to the resignation two months ago of Rima Khalaf, executive secretary general of the Commission. The report titled “Israeli practices toward the Palestinian people and the question of Apartheid” was pulled from the Commission’s website following intense pressure on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres by the United States and Israel. Khalaf announced her resignation after the UN chief asked her to remove the report from the ESCWA website. The report accuses Israel of imposing an “Apartheid regime” on Palestinians.

Khalaf is a prominent Jordanian figure in the political and economic fields. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in economics from the prestigious American University of Beirut. She then secured her Master’s and doctorate degrees from the United States. Khalaf has held several ministerial portfolios in Jordan, including the ministries of industry and commerce, and planning. She has also served as Jordan’s deputy prime minister.

Khalaf was chosen by the Financial Times newspaper as one of the top 50 personalities who have carved a niche in the last decade. She worked as assistant secretary general of the United Nations and as regional director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) before assuming the post of executive secretary general of ESCWA, which she sacrificed for the sake of the principles that she holds.

The report, which led to the resignation of Khalaf, is considered a research reference and high-level study, meeting all the criteria of international law. This report should have been translated into action by the international community and the United Nations so as to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, as well as to halt the construction of settlements that have already devoured most of the Palestinian territories, and stop the racial practices of Israel against the Palestinian people.

The report is considered to be the first scientific survey based on the parameters of international law about the crime of Apartheid, which is an inhuman practice aimed at the control of one ethnic group by another. This is what Israel is perpetrating against the Palestinian people. It is worth noting that those, who applied pressure on the UN Secretary-General, neither discussed the text of the report nor questioned its content. They also did not refute what was stated in it, but merely attacked the report and asked for it to be withdrawn.

The UN Secretary-General also distanced himself from the report. The UN spokesman said: “The report as it stands does not reflect the views of the Secretary-General and was done without consultation with the UN secretariat.” In fact, such reports published by ESCWA or any other similar UN committees are not supposed to be prepared after any consultation with the UN Secretary-General or any other officials or agencies. The US ambassador to the UN welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s position of distancing himself from the report.

The issue could have ended at this point. But Israel was not satisfied with this and continued mounting pressure on the UN Secretary-General and the United States, and this led the UN chief to pressure Khalaf to withdraw the report. But she refused to succumb to the pressure and instead asked him to waive the request to withdraw the report. When he did not respond to this request, she tendered her resignation, saying “my resignation is simply because I feel it my duty towards the people we serve, towards the UN and towards myself, not to withdraw an honest testimony about an ongoing crime that is at the root of so much human suffering.”

This report could have been the same as other reports and resolutions adopted by the United Nations and other international organizations condemning Israel for its crimes against the Palestinian people. Israel does not bother about such reports, as they remain mere ink on paper mainly because of the US position of constantly blocking any move to condemn Israel. However, the case of this report is different as it was instrumental in mounting pressure by Israel and the United States on the UN Secretary- General and his surrender to this pressure and eventually to his pressure on Khalaf to withdraw the report. She refused to withdraw the report but instead resigned from her post at the helm of ESCWA, and this led to the wide circulation of the report.

Several human rights organizations described the withdrawal of the report as a slap in the face of international justice. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry denounced the act in a statement saying, the ESCWA report is an alarming signal about the plight of the Palestinians who are victims of Israeli Apartheid. The ministry also noted that the report should lead to an awakening in Israeli society so that it pressures its government to end the occupation, halt the building of settlements as well as its racist practices before Israeli society drowns in the Apartheid regime.

Source: saudigazette.com.sa/opinion/uns-silence-israeli-apartheid/


Egypt’s Future Rests On Its People’s Shoulders

By Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor

16 May 2017

Unlike several of its neighbors, the Arab world’s most populous nation has thankfully succeeded in regaining its political, security and social equilibrium following years of turmoil. Egypt is on the right track, and with wise governance could emerge as a regional success story. Often forgotten is that from 1926 until 1953, Egyptians were among the richest, most educated and progressive Arabs. Cairo was the cleanest and most beautiful city on the planet. Egypt’s coffers were overflowing. At one time, the guinea was made of 7.43 grams of gold, and the dollar bought a mere 25 piastres. In the 1940s, the Egyptian stock exchange was the world’s fourth largest.

Egypt loaned the equivalent of $29 billion to Britain during World War II, and the US asked Egypt to give financial aid to European countries. Egypt was a land to which Greeks, Italians and Armenians, among others, gravitated seeking often menial employment. Working there was seen as a dream job. Unemployment never exceeded 2 percent. Ethiopia and Uganda sought union with Egypt. In 1862, Japan sent a mission to Egypt to learn how it could emulate the latter’s success.

As evidenced from black and white movies produced during Egyptian cinema’s golden age and archived Pathé newsreels, cosmopolitan Alexandria was dubbed the region’s Côte d’Azur; its port was a hub for European cruise lines en route to India and Singapore. Royal princes were students in the city’s illustrious Victoria College. Fashion designers used to show their new collections in Cairo before Paris. Taxis were luxurious American Cadillacs. In those days, the country was renowned for producing the finest cottons and for constructing the world’s first solar station.

Egypt’s former President Gamal Abdel Nasser was prominent among the army officers who gave Egyptians their independence from Britain, and his nationalist pan-Arab fervor served as an inspiration to Arabs everywhere. His intention to improve the lives of the poor was worthy, but sadly many of his socialist economic initiatives were misguided. Wars with Israel also contributed to the depletion of Cairo’s finances.

Egyptians are feeling the pinch due to rising prices, but they can look forward with confidence. I have visited Cairo on numerous occasions over the past year. It is chaotic and traffic-jammed but it remains one of my favorite cities, presenting every facet of life in the raw. Whatever their station and personal burdens, Egyptians always manage a smile and a joke. The capital reminds me of an old mysterious lady clad in a faded ball gown, whose beauty still shines out of her wrinkled face. Tomorrow belongs to her heirs, the youth. They are Egypt’s true treasure, and they need to be nurtured in terms of education and opportunity.

Young people were disappointed by the outcome of their revolution; their dissipated dreams of greater freedoms and prosperity led a minority to lose faith in their motherland. The idealists were mistaken. Their vast country is blessed by an excellent climate, magnificent beaches, natural resources (oil, gas, phosphates, gold and iron ore) and its archaeological heritage has unique touristic potential. More importantly, with all its advantages and imperfections, it is theirs.

Rather than bemoan the fact that their country did not become a European clone overnight or hasten to apply for US visas, young Egyptians should roll up their sleeves. Like a mother newly released from intensive care, their country needs their energy, enterprise, innovation… and yes, their love. No one turns their back on a parent in their time of need. Without love of the soil that bore us, we are as orphaned as the refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq. I was passionate about my own when all around us was sand.

The UAE was not produced from a magician’s hat. We built it together brick by brick on a strong foundation of unity, belief and hope. With patience and a stable government, there is nothing preventing Egyptians from doing the same, or to be more precise, bathing their country in good fortune once again. It has been an uphill battle, but today the country is back on a positive trajectory; its shattered economy is slowly but surely improving. For example, this month its foreign reserves reached a six-year high of $28.5 billion.

The flotation of the Egyptian pound has resulted in inflation, but on the upside has attracted substantial foreign investment that leapt by “39 percent in the first half of the current fiscal year,” Reuters reported. A newly passed investment law is designed to incentivize foreign investors by offering major tax discounts and the availability of free zones exempt from taxes and duties. And despite the fact that both Russia and the UK are dragging their feet regarding restoring flights suspended following the downing of a Russian Metrojet, the tourism industry is recovering.

The good news is that Egypt’s energy woes are over. British Ambassador John Casson announced that British Petroleum is set to invest $13 billion to “make Egypt the new energy superpower.” At the end of this year, the massive Zohr Mediterranean gas field discovered by Italian company Eni is scheduled to begin production, and the country is expected to transition from an energy importer to an exporter.

For sure there is much still to be done. Parallel to its spending on infrastructure, the government should invest in its human capital, particularly in education and medical care, which are below standard, as the president has acknowledged. A gradual reduction of subsidies makes perfect economic sense, but there must be an effective safety net for the poorest sectors of society.

Most crucially, the pervasive culture of corruption and cronyism that exists from top to bottom must be abolished. All citizens should enjoy equal opportunities according to their talents, and should not have to pay bribes. The long-term solution lies with educators, televised public service announcements and harsh penalties for infringers. The authorities are working to change this. Lastly, I would strongly encourage all Egyptians to instill in their children the flame of patriotism. Let it burn bright, and with enough patience and determination on the government’s part, just as they did during the first half of the 20th century, everyone will want to walk like an Egyptian.

Source: arabnews.com/node/1100641


Will Turkey Burn Its Bridges With The US?

By Murat Yetkin


After U.S. President Donald Trump’s hosting of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in the White House on May 16, it is not realistic to expect relations between Ankara and Washington to either go back to normal overnight or to nosedive and destroy a long-running alliance.

It is true that the problems between them are serious. They are more serious for Turkey than the U.S., because Ankara sees two existential threats while Washington sees tactical details.

One of the issues is the U.S.’s cooperation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Stressing that the YPG is the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) - which has been waging an armed campaign against Turkey for over three decades and designated a terrorist organization also by the U.S. - Erdogan has been urging Trump to drop the YPG-focused Pentagon plan in order to reach full cooperation with NATO ally Turkey.

The other issue is the situation of Fethullah Gülen. A former ally of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti), the Islamist preacher living in Pennsylvania is now accused of masterminding the July 2016 military coup attempt. Turkey wanted Gülen back to be tried on subversion charges even before the coup attempt, and at the very least it wanted legal action to be taken against him - which is actually possible according to a legal agreement between the two countries - in order to stop Gülen orchestrating his network in Turkey and elsewhere.

But a few days before Erdogan’s visit to Washington, Trump approved a plan by the Pentagon to deliver more and heavier arms for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the YPG is the backbone, ahead of the approaching military operation by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to take the Syrian city of Raqqa from the occupation of ISIL. By doing that, Trump also showed that he was ready for the possible closure of Turkey’s strategic Incirlik air base to U.S. flights, depriving Erdogan of a major “trump card” in a possible bargain.

Following a recent meeting in China, Russian President Vladimir Putin also left Erdogan no room to maneuver vis-a-vis Trump, by saying that Moscow would also maintain its contact with the YPG against ISIL.

As if to agitate the already tense situation even further, on the day when Erdogan arrived in the U.S. the Washington Post printed an op-ed penned by Gülen himself. In it, he described the U.S. as a “second home” and presented himself as a man of peace in the world, holding Erdogan as exclusively responsible for ruining hundreds and thousands of lives due to persecutions following the coup attempt. It was as if Gülen’s own illegal network within the state had no responsibility for ruining many other lives and institutions in Turkey up until a few years ago, before and during the AK Parti rule.

The situation of rights and freedoms in Turkey since the coup attempt has been deteriorating under the state of emergency. In the latest example, Oguz Güven, the chief web editor of daily Cumhuriyet, which has over 10 of its writers, editors and executives already in jail, was arrested on May 15 over the headline of a news report about a car accident in which a prosecutor investigating many cases after the state of emergency was killed. Overall, there are over 150 journalists, writers and media executives currently in jail in Turkey.

This situation creates an antipathetic atmosphere against Erdogan in the West, particularly when combined with the controversial way the referendum was carried out last month and the content of the changes passed, which resulted in the consolidation of all executive power in the president’s hands with weakened checks and balances.

However, Turkey does have legitimate security concerns, as a member of the Western alliance NATO.

Relations between Turkey and the U.S. are not limited to the YPG/PKK and the Gülen network. From Central Asia to the Balkans, from the Ukraine-Russia crisis to Mediterranean security, there are more than a dozen issues where the two countries are cooperating. And there are steps that both must take in order to keep this relationship going, which is in the interests of both of them.

Sources: hurriyetdailynews.com/will-turkey-burn-its-bridges-with-the-us.aspx?pageID=449&nID=113186&NewsCatID=409


White House Vs the Russia House

By Ahu Ozyurt


By the time you read this article, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with President Donald Trump will be over. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to predict the discussions inside the White House, but my instinct tells me that whatever is spoken inside will be dictated by a force outside Washington - the Kremlin.

The Turkish media and President Erdogan’s team have been raising the level of expectations for this meeting since Trump’s inauguration. But that is hardly new. For the group of advisors around Erdogan, the world practically revolves around him and the U.S. president when they meet. This was also the case in the Obama years, and we have no reason to believe it has changed.

But the pendulum swings both ways. In contrast with Erdogan’s widespread media comfort, Trump is not enjoying much “yes man” rhetoric in Washington at the moment. His meetings and disclosures of classified information to a Russian delegation last week are the latest signs of trouble. Trump is not getting any help from his institutions, and the U.S. is showing the world and Erdogan’s camp that there is still something called the separation of powers.

Hürriyet Daily News editor-in-chief Murat Yetkin noted on private broadcaster CNN Türk on May 15 that U.S.-Turkey relations are much more layered and complicated than the recent PYD/YPG crisis. So why is the pro-Erdogan media dropping hints that Turkey could cut its ties with the U.S. in an instant? Turkey may shut down the Incirlik air base to the U.S. but that is OK with the Pentagon. For Russia, meanwhile, such a move would be more than OK.

Take a look at the great spymaster Vladimir Putin’s statement about the Kurds in Syria. “As the Kurdish factor is a real factor in the situation in Syria and Kurdish armed formations are taking part in combat operations against ISIL and are among the most combat efficient units, we consider it right to maintain working contacts with them, if only for avoiding possible collisions and situations that could create threats to our servicemen,” the Russian leader said in Beijing.

I am sure the Pentagon’s critical men in uniform and President Trump would not hesitate to echo Putin’s words to Erdogan. The only difference between Putin and Trump is the former’s decision not to supply arms to the YPG in Syria. But then again, Russia does not have to do that anyway.

So why is President Erdogan’s visit to Washington being packaged as if it is the most critical meeting of his career? Let’s admit it, this is Erdogan’s post-referendum tour. The presidential palace’s staff and army of advisors, including Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Chief Hakan Fidan, are all aware of the fact that the U.S. military will not change its position regarding the Kurds in Syria. Trump may comfort Erdogan with a couple of gestures and try to put his worries to rest. But both leaders are seeking international alliances and legitimacy these days. That is why right after Erdogan, Trump is going on a tour of Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican and Brussels, (pay attention to the order of the first three).

Russia and the U.S. could help Turkey get better relations with Syria’s Kurds. That was the original plan before Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft in November 2015. A first meeting is only a first meeting, but Turkey’s approach toward Syria and the Syrian Kurds will likely be determined in the Kremlin rather than in Washington anyway.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/white-house-vs-the-russia-house.aspx?pageID=449&nID=113172&NewsCatID=515


President Erdogan’s Road Map as AKP Chairman

By Serkan Demirtas


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be elected as the chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) during the party’s extraordinary convention in Ankara on May 21, marking another first in the country’s recent political history.

Just a historical note: Both Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Ismet Inönü, Turkey’s first two presidents were also members and chairmen of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) until 1950, when the latter was replaced by Celal Bayar from the ranks of the Democrat Party (DP). Although Bayar resigned from the chairmanship of the DP after his election as Turkey’s third president, he continued his membership in the party.

The concept of an “impartial president” was introduced to the Turkish constitution in 1961 after the coup attempt in 1960 and has been preserved until today. One of the articles of the comprehensive constitutional amendments that was narrowly approved in the April 16 referendum permits the president to retain links with his or her political party. Although the constitution still underlines the impartiality of the president, Erdogan’s return to the leadership of the ruling party will practically end his impartial status.

This weekend’s convention will also mark a new era for the AKP government as it will determine the short- and long-term priorities as well as policies to be adopted under Erdogan’s leadership to secure simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019.

In the short-term, Erdogan’s priority will be to reshape both his AKP and the government through a comprehensive reshuffle. It’s anticipated that he will replace his top aides in order to let the AKP gain new momentum for the upcoming elections. A study will also be carried out to analyze the performances of the AKP’s provincial and municipal organizations in the light of the referendum results.    

In the aftermath of the AKP’s convention, a reshuffle is also expected at the government but its scope will be outlined together with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. It’s believed that the change in the government will ease the hands of Erdogan and Yildirim in their efforts to put the economy and international relations in order.

Erdogan’s address at the extraordinary convention will certainly give many messages in regards to the government’s policies inside and outside the country, as well as beacons on probable developments in the interim period until 2019.

There are three main areas on which Erdogan should focus: a further divided nation in the light of the results of the referendum; risks in the field of international relations and the economy.

Erdogan and his AKP team have realized that the 2019 elections will not be a piece of cake given the referendum results and that they need to adopt a new language to expand the 51.4 percent “yes” block. It will be quite important to what extent Erdogan can pursue an embracing stance and language in this very difficult period. 

On the international front, the AKP’s convention will take place days after Erdogan’s first in-person meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and days before he is set to meet NATO and EU leaders in Brussels. It’s no secret that Erdogan wants to repair the damage to ties with the United States and the European Union and that these meetings will provide an important opportunity to do so. We’ll hear more about them from him on the convention day.

The economy is sending new alarms with figures announced regarding inflation and unemployment. The government is using each and every occasion to spread the message that things are on the right course in Turkey and that there is nothing for international investors to worry about.

The deterioration in the level of democracy and poor human rights conditions, as well as restricted fundamental freedoms, are also important factors that need to be addressed by the president and the government in this very crucial period. Turkey’s democracy is seen as third world even though it once set an example to underdeveloped countries.

Erdogan’s road map as the AKP’s chairman will certainly give us the necessary evidence to determine how all the aforementioned issues will be addressed in this interim period until 2019.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/president-erdogans-road-map-as-akp-chairman-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=113173&NewsCatID=429


The Rendezvous

By Ysuf Kanli


Ahead of the May 16 White House meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives reported to have written a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, urging him to concentrate more on Turkey’s appalling retreat from fundamental rights, which constitute the backbone of modern democracies.

Were they all members of the notorious Fethullah Gülen organization, also known as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) gang, which Erdogan and his government loves to hold responsible for whenever something bad happens.

On the agenda of the two leaders neither press freedom nor freedom of expression might be as dominant as cooperation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or the ways in which ISIL would be fought. Why would Trump be bothered with what has been happening to newsmen in Turkey while he himself has been in such antagonistic state of affairs with the American media? Would he indeed be impeached by the congress soon because of nasty undertakings – including but not limited to passing on sensitive operational intelligence to the Russian ambassador – as president?

Writing in the prestigious Financial Times, Gideon Rachman asserted that at the meeting the two presidents might discover they have a lot in common. Like what? Both are nationalists. Both promised to make their countries great again. Both have turned governing into a family business and rely heavily on their sons-in-law, Jared Kushner and Berat Albayrak. That’s what Rachman wrote. Both are despised by metropolitan elites, but mostly beloved outside their countries’ big cities. Both have accused their countries’ permanent bureaucracies of plotting against them, the Financial Times writer stressed.

Another similarity between the two presidents might be seen in their approaches to the media. Yet, so far, Trump has not yet acquired the power to engage in a full-fledged war with the media. He might be bashing them of being “the world’s most dishonest people” engaged in concocting “fake news.” But in Erdogan’s Turkey, as of the end of April, the number of scribes in prison has reached 159, and is still increasing. Only yesterday an Istanbul court ordered the arrest of the web editor of daily Cumhuriyet over a news story on the daily’s website that was removed immediately after 55 seconds about a deadly traffic accident that killed a prosecutor was inappropriately broadcast under a despicable headline.

How could a journalist of 32 years be sent to prison for a headline, which he, as the editor, found it inappropriate and changed it in 55 seconds?

Was it really important whether American senators wrote such a letter to Trump ahead of his rendezvous with Erdogan? Would it really matter whether or not those senators and representatives were “influenced” or “deceived” by U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen or his followers to write such a letter? Is it a secret that Turkey has become an autocracy? Is it a secret that a merciless pogrom against critics, opponents, and those who refuse to obey the regime of the supreme power of the country has been continuing in this country under the pretext of fighting putschists?

When Erdogan was at the Blair House preparing for his meeting with Trump across the street from the White House, an operation was continuing at four ministries in Turkey and there were reports that scores of Gulenists were netted again. But while thousands of civil servants, officers, teachers, journalists, academics and businessmen were deprived of their liberties and placed behind bars on grounds they were members of the FETÖ gang, somehow only a handful of politicians and surprisingly all inactive politicians, were accused and detained over FETÖ links. Apparently FETÖ was unable to infiltrate the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or other parties.

Obviously Erdogan must be waiting for the appropriate time to harvest the “political FETÖ” or he might be considering better for his interests to hold some FETÖ-tainted politicians hostage. He probably might have briefed Trump while demanding the extradition of Gülen to Turkey about the political contamination the gang created in Turkey. Obviously, if there was contamination in all spheres including media, bureaucracy, military, and the religious affairs directorate, how could politics be immune from it?

Was it not Erdogan who publicly asked for forgiveness from God for being deceived by believing Gülen? Awkward as it was, God’s forgiveness did not work for thousands of bureaucrats, soldiers, judges, prosecutors, journalists and others who were deceived by FETÖ…

Erdogan would probably also ask Trump, “Tell me what you wanted from us that we did not give that you opted to get it through the Syrian Kurds?” Or, perhaps he would tell Trump, as he said in China, he would not see it appropriate that the U.S. was aligning with terrorists and engaging in a war to liberate Raqqa in collaboration with the Kurds. Trump would probably tell Erdogan, once Raqqa is conquered, that Syrian Kurds would leave the city…

Would Erdogan believe that? Well he may ask God’s forgiveness for being fooled by Trump too.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/the-rendezvous.aspx?pageID=449&nID=113174&NewsCatID=425


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