Bolton ‘misleading’, ‘manipulative’ on Erdoğan-Trump dialogue, Turkey says

Turkey's Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun sharply criticised former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton for the “misleading, one-sided and manipulative” depictions in his new book of conversations between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.

“We find it reprehensible that former high-level officials attempt to use serious diplomatic conversations and efforts to resolve outstanding issues between allies like the U.S. and Turkey for their domestic political agendas,” Altun said, alluding to Bolton, in one of a series of tweets posted late on Wednesday.

"It is clear that the goals of these mischaracterisations and falsehoods are driven by domestic political considerations as well as personal gain," he asserted.  

“We are confident that the U.S.-Turkey relationship will survive such efforts and even thrive in the end. President Erdoğan will continue his frank, honest and straightforward conversations with U.S. President Donald Trump,” he said.

In his new memoir “The Room Where It Happened”, Bolton wrote that Erdoğan gave Trump a memo saying Turkish state lender Halkbank, under investigation by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for violating Iranian sanctions, was innocent.

“Trump then told Erdoğan he would take care of things, explaining that the Southern District prosecutors were not his people, but were Obama people, a problem that would be fixed when they were replaced by his people,” Bolton wrote.

Geoffrey Berman, the attorney leading the district’s office, was forced to step down from his position last weekend.