From Turkey: Good luck with that! Mr. Trump

It has been 121 days since U.S. President Donald Trump has been in the office. He encountered at least 121 issues, problems and troubles from the left, liberals and all other progressives, and from the people of his own party, if you can say that the GOP is his own party.

Trump’s situation has declined from bad to the Watergate Level since he talked to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last Tuesday. They discussed, among others, the U.S.’s decision to arm and train the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist organization, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The two presidents also talked about Turkey’s request for the extradition of the head honcho of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), Fetullah Gülen, who has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999 and is sought by Turkish courts as the main plotter of the failed military coup in 2016.

Trump’s “calamité du jour” last Tuesday was whether the fired chief of the FBI had drafted a memo saying the president had asked him to end the Flynn investigation. Since then the series of daily disasters continued with the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations about retired Gen. Michael Flynn. Trump probably had a strong feeling that something unpleasant was about to happen, because newspapers had the word “Watergate” on the headlines when President Erdoğan arrived at Washington, D.C., yet he greeted President Erdoğan warmly and friendly. As if he was already trying to minimize the effects of his haplessness on those two subjects.

Erdoğan said what he had to say and was seen off by a very friendly Trump. Hours later, Trump and his team learned that his enemies in the Congress, media and FBI-CIA circles now had a special counsel appointed to investigate Russian collusion during the election campaign and the Flynn affair.

After the July coup attempt in Turkey – but before the U.S. elections – Flynn wrote a strongly worded article for The Hill magazine and defended the opinion that Gülen should be extradited immediately. Also during his 24-day stint at the White House as Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn is said to ask the Pentagon to review former U.S. President Obama’s plan to use YPG terrorists in fighting with Daesh terrorists. The allegation that before joining the Trump camp, Gen. Flynn was acting as a paid adviser and PR representative for Turkey and Russia is now going to be investigated by this special prosecutor.

Perhaps this was the reason the U.S. administration couldn’t do much on these two issues. But the fact remains: As an ally, Turkey has a legitimate request of extradition from the courts and you cannot fight a legitimate war against terrorism using a bunch of terrorists as your proxies.

Trump ought to know that cowards die many times before their actual death. If he prefers to appease his political enemies by not doing what Gen. Flynn suggested and does not return the suspect to Turkish courts, and start a war against terrorism using terrorists, all we can say is, “Good luck with that.” Like Americans, Turks too use this expression when they know a thing is neither good, nor there is luck in it


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