The American Presidential Election is approaching; increased American domestic election related political activity is directly impacing the politics of Turkey.
An old commenttary concerning Turkish politics from Joe Biden (prounounced Baydin!) was rediscovered by the media and proved sufficient to cause a commotion.
Will live in a world where agenda’s and topics of interest change extremely quickly.
The situation in Turky is no different.
Yes, Biden’s “Turkey comment” stirred things up.
I thought it appropriate to add my few cents just as the initial impacts had begun to dissipate.
THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME
Turkey has a young population. An exagerrated youthful self-confidence may deceptively lead to both a lack of research regarding historical matters and a lack of background knowledge regarding a contemporary event which will render any chatter entirely unfounded.
The United States never lost its’ interest in Turkey while it’s rivalry with the Soviets continued.
Warning letters, blackmail, threats, ambargos, open and secret coups, all are a unalterable part of the traditional U.S. – Turkey bi-lateral relationship menu.
Turkey’s honor, traditional state mutual respect, and such subjects are of no consequence to the U.S.
Interests and their derivatives are all that matter to the U.S.
If we need to order the top three U.S. priorities:
-Maintain a counterbalance towards its’ traditional rival Russia,
-An Israel centered peace in the Middle East,
-Ease of access and use of energy sources.
Bilkent University was newly established. It is experiecing growing pains. Ihsan Dogramaci, as ‘founding father’, is spending an enormous sum of his personal fortune.
It is just at that time that Ihsan Dogramaci comes to me and requests assistance. I took a look and saw some opportunities. We expanded the universities assets by improving Bilkent’s housing. Our friendship was deepened and he made me a member of Bilkent’s fiduciary council.
We would have long conversations after each council meeting.
During one of our conversations he recounted an interesing memory.
He began “I” but then halted. “I” he repeated and added “could have entered politics if I’d wanted, but preferred the ivory tower”
One day Suleyman Demirel and I are sitting with the American Ambassador Kommer (the same Ambassador whose car caught on fire at the Middle East Technical University).
Kommer asks, “Which of you would like to become Prime Minister”. Without even giving me a chance to open my mouth, Demirel jumped to his feet and said “I would”.
Prof. Ihsan Dogramaci was not just any ordinary professor. May God bless his soul, he holds an important position in our recent history. I take seriously and believe an event described by him.
You see dear readers, America had a great influence over Turkish politics in the 1960’s.
For that reason, Biden’s Turkey statement was not a surprise.
LETS GET TO THE CORE OF THE ISSUE
Without understanding the crux of the controversy…It would be easy to explain away the issue with some conspiratorial interpretations by asking “Why now, who is Biden, Is this theater….”
The New York Times, as one of the world’s leading global newspapers, established a tradtion during the height of mainstream media influence.
In short, the American Democrat Party candidate, explains to Times’ editors what their domestic and foreign policies will be in the event of an election victory.
The New York Times editors then endorse a candidate based on these interviews with candidates from all major parties.
And then makes it’s endorsement public. This is an American tradition and the same approach is applied to local elections.
Except in this case a small but important change is made.
The meetings which are traditionally held behind closed doors are videoed and made public.
So nothing is hidden in contrast to the cassete conspiracies of Turkish politics.
The discussion occured 7 months ago. It wasn’t taken seriously then but has now taken on a whole different character due to an important change.
Let’s explore the subject…
7 months ago, during January, there were 20 Democrat Party candidates vying for the parties presidential nomination and Biden trailed the pack. In particular Sanders is the clear front runner.
The American economy is experiencing a golden age and Trump feels that the election is in the bag.
As with similar ossified parties in Turkey the American Democrat Party elite are in a panic.
The know that a candidate calling for democratic socialism such as Sanders has zero chance of defeating Trump.
The same party machinery that helped Hillary Clinton win the nomination intervenes to help Biden win Carolina, a state whose delegate majority is black, and give him his first primary victory.
And the liberal media proclaims Biden the front-runner giving him momentum and leaving Sanders and the other primary candidates clueless as to what just transpired.
Afterward the Pandemic, then the George Floyd disaster explodes, street demonsrations, riots, looting, anarchy…
On the one hand an economy that has been brought to its’ knees, on the other hand a super power helpless due to the lack of a proper healthcare system…
Result: Resentful and angry citizens.
While these events are transpiring, Biden the old wolf just days away from irrelevance while waiting out the pandemic in his basement makes a sudden turnaround.
Biden is suddenly leading all the polls!
According to both Turkish and World media outlets Biden is sure to be President and Trump is finished.
Biden is not a johnny come lately. He served in the Senate from 1973 through 2009. He was chair of the important Foreign Affairs Committee for four years and a member of the comittee for eight.
From 2009 – 2017 he was Obama’s Vice President.
In short, he’s a 78 year old “marine’ politician who spent 47 years in Washington.
Incidentally, this is not his first run for the Presidency. He entered the race in 1988, but abandoned his bid after it was discovered that he had largely lifted his party program (copied without permission) from the British Labour Party.
In short, Biden’s has signficant foreign affairs experience, an imperialist demenaor, and is a candidate whose body language and statements must be closely scrutinized and listened to with the ear. When he says something is not nearly as important as when and how he says something.
A politician who has survived and thrived in Washington for 47 years doesn’t speak trifles. He has no such right.
In summary a judgemental statement was made regarding the sovereignty of a an important world state with a population of 80 million souls.
The flip side is that his 47 years of experience and speaking style at the same time exemplify America’s attitude toward Turkey for the last 50 years.
I’d like to make one other point before closing my analysis.
There is another reality which should be recognized regarding the U.S. which is Turkey’s ally but not its’ friend.
As I stated at the beginning of my analysis, in a fast changing World, neither is America the old America or Turkey the old Turkey.
Translation: Deniz Mehmed