A couple of days ago, U.S. President Donald Trump met with pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who was the source of a crisis between Ankara and Washington a couple of years ago. The president made the following statement about the process of the release of the pastor, known among the Turkish public as “spy Brunson,” who was sentenced to prison in Turkey for “aiding an illegal organization.”
“I have to say, to me, President (Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan was very good ... and he ultimately, after we had a few conversations, he agreed. So we appreciate that and we appreciate the people of Turkey," Trump said.
This is not the first time Trump has made such warm remarks about Turkey. Indeed, Trump frequently gives details on his relationship with the Turkish president. The U.S. president says that leaders of many states have called him to convince Erdoğan, and he even talks about Turkey when responding to his rival Joe Biden. Let us remember his remarks about Biden’s promise to support the opposition against Erdoğan and to manipulate democratic politics: “You’re dealing with people that are very sharp. You’re dealing with world-class chess players in the leaders of these countries. I know them all. We do very well with all of them, Erdoğan of Turkey. You can’t have a guy (Biden) that doesn’t know where he is. You can’t have a guy (as president) that’s afraid to leave his basement because he can’t speak any longer.”
In this regard, the information provided by U.S. journalist Carl Bernstein regarding Trump's phone conversations with leaders of other countries is also noteworthy. According to the information revealed by the journalist as a result of his interviews with people who witnessed the president's speeches at the White House, Erdoğan is the person Trump speaks the most often about.
Trump is not the only leader Erdoğan has managed to develop a “peer-to-peer” relationship with. He has also established a relationship of mutual trust with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is engaged in a struggle for influence with the U.S., and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has allies he agrees with individually in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and even Latin America.
Erdoğan's network of allies has an important role in keeping tensions low in the global crisis regions where the interests of world giants clash, such as in Syria, the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya. He is trusted for his words and frankness. He is known for his emphasis on morality.
Of course, Erdoğan's personality, which has earned the respect of even his notorious rivals in international politics, and his prestige make things harder for his opponents inside the country. Opposition supporters are aware of the situation, too. Even if they oppose him to the bitter end, they admit that no one but Erdoğan can represent Turkey in a competitive global environment no different from a dog-eat-dog world.
Erdoğan recently received good news from the Black Sea following the energy cooperation agreement he signed with Libya in the Mediterranean, in accordance with international law. The oil and gas explorations he has focused on for the past three years have yielded results. Turkey has discovered 320 billion cubic meters (bcm) of a large natural gas reserve, estimated by international organizations to be 800 bcm.
It is obvious that this reserve, which is planned to be accessed for use within three years after the localization in the defense industry, will be very good for the Turkish economy.
Having failed against Erdoğan in all elections for 18 years, the opposition bloc has always turned its sails according to the wind coming from the outside, as it gave up hope from the inside. They have run out of this hope these days. Probably now, they are busy praying that Erdoğan does not decide to hold a snap election, or at least that Biden, who promises to return to the old relations with Turkey at the level of a third-world country, is elected.
What a pathetic situation, mutually.