Dec 13 2017

The moment Erdoğan lost faith in Trump

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his closest advisors have long staked their hopes on U.S. President Donald Trump overriding an increasingly hostile Congress, State Department and U.S. military to shape policy that would suit Turkey’s interests.

But in the aftermath of Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Erdoğan has become disillusioned and dropped his reluctance to confront Trump by name.

“If (what Israel is doing) is not occupation and it is not terrorist, what is it?” Erdoğan asked a specially convened meeting on Palestine of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, according to opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)-linked channel Halk TV.

“What more do I need to explain, hey Trump, in order to prove this? Everything is out in the open ... At present, Lord Trump is striving to give the whole of Palestine to Israel," Erdoğan said.

"We have been saying from the first day that this decision is voided by conscience, history and law."

Trump had rewarded Israel for its human rights abuses, Erdoğan said.

“The person who has given them this prize, even if he is all alone in it, is now Trump.”

He was emphatic that Trump was single-handedly responsible for the decision.

"How can you make that decision all on your own?" Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan said he had explained to the U.S. president that the majority-Kurdish Syrian militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), had joined forces with the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

“I am speaking without worry because I explained this myself to Mr. Trump,” he said.

The decision would only lead to more support for fanatics in the region, Erdoğan said.

“We have stated openly at every opportunity that the decision would lead to very serious consequences and would drag the region into a ring of fire."

In contrast to Trump, Erdoğan had kind words for the visiting president of Venezuela.

"Today, we invited (Nicolas) Maduro, and look, good for him, he has come all this way," he said.

"Where is Venezuela in relation to Istanbul? He has come all this way as the voice of his region and pledged his support."