LONDON — If the Trump administration had hoped to take some pressure off its close ally the Saudi Crown Prince amid an international murder scandal by forcing a Turkish dissident out of U.S. exile, Turkey isn’t playing ball.
NBC News claimed on Thursday that the White House was looking for ways to remove Turkish religious scholar Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Turkey of backing a violent attempt to overthrow its government, from the U.S. Turkey’s president has wanted Gulen extradited back home for years. Hours after the report, however, a senior Turkish official in Ankara said the country had, “no intention to intervene in the Khashoggi investigation in return for any political or legal favor.”
“At no point did Turkey offer to hold back on the Khashoggi investigation in return for Fetullah Gulen’s extradition,” the senior Turkish official said on Thursday.
Continue reading: Turks reject any U.S. “legal favor” to ease pressure on Saudis over Khashoggi
There is a certain irony here in Erdogan actually standing for justice … especially where a journalist is concerned. And there is much corruption in Trump’s role here. I have suspicions that Trump was aware of what Khashoggi’s fate was to be before the fact, though it is more an instinct than anything with any factual basis. Time will tell.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Erdogan isn’t standing for justice – not the kind of justice you and I value, anyway. He is just as much a brutal authoritarian as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Here’s a little historical background:
Although both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are Sunni Muslim nations more or less geopolitically aligned against Shiite Muslim Iran, they are also rivals within that geopolitical alignment with a long history of bitter disputes dating back to the Ottoman Empire and WWI. A clear majority of Turks (Erdogan’s base) still have animosity towards the Saudi royal family; and, Turkey – which has close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood – intensely opposes Saudi Arabia’s labeling of that group as a terrorist organization. Furthermore, I suspect that Erdogan was greatly angered by the Saudis’ brazen assassination of Khashoggi right under his nose – so to speak.
None of this is really surprising considering the great turmoil plaguing the Middle East. What is very disturbing, however, is Trump’s ploy to force the DOJ to extradite a legal U.S. resident (Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, a political opponent of Erdogan) to Turkey (where he would undoubtedly be tortured and killed) in exchange for Turkey’s easing up on its criticism of Saudi Arabia (with which Trump has intricate business and political relationships). It’s an incredibly nefarious ploy which fortunately the DOJ is resisting.
LikeLiked by 2 people