Turkey just getting started with Biden influence campaign
Turkey has begun investing in Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden through organisations, which act as unregistered foreign agents on behalf of the Turkish government, analyst and former Pentagon official Michael Rubin said in the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has developed close relations with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, he is also cultivating Biden's camp "not to leave anything to chance", Rubin said.
"Today, Erdoğan feels confident he has Trump’s ear but does not want his access or influence to decline should Biden unseat Trump, and so hedges his bets," he said.
Murat Güzel, a treasurer of Turkish American National Steering Committee whose leadership and associates have direct connections to Erdoğan's inner circle, has donated maximum amounts both to Biden and, during the primary campaign, several other serious Democratic contenders, the analyst said.
Meanwhile, Elvir Klempic, who until recently served as the executive director of the Turkish Heritage Organization, another Turkish government-linked NGO based in Washington D.C., is currently working as National Affinity and Ethnic Engagement Director for Biden.
"As anti-American as Erdoğan is in practice, he is not willing to leave to chance the establishment of a personal connection with the U.S. president," Rubin said.