Donald Trump’s style of correspondence in his letter to President Tayyip Erdoğan has generally been seen as disrespectful, not only in Turkey but in the USA too, where the letter baffled many when it was released.
Because Americans enjoy the freedom to mock at their president, content of Trump’s letter has become an object of derision in comedy shows on televisions. Things have reached a pretty pass that prime-time newscasters have finished some of their programs with the last sentence of the letter bursting into laughter.
It is a bizarre letter indeed. . .
How could a president dare to use such a style of correspondence in a letter to another president?
I’ve been thinking over this question for days.
Some people in our country are angry because Trump’s letter wasn’t retaliated with the same tone. They think that Trump should have been given a dose of his own medicine, instead of being content with saying in public that the letter had been ‘tossed straight into the bin’.
I have two doubts contradictory to each other
Even though I know you may find it somewhat strange, I still want to share my doubts with you:
The first of my doubts is this: What if President Erdoğan responded to Trump with a counter letter but his response has been put aside for the time being?
Understandably, not all of us have had the opportunity to follow American media closely in the last two weeks. I, however, have spent my days during this two-week period by watching the two popular US television channels, pro-Trump Fox-TV and anti-Trump CNN International, as well as several Arab channels -the ones in Syria in particular, and going through foreign newspapers on a daily basis.
I can argue without hesitation that Trump could find no other way but reveal his letter to President Erdoğan. He would have not done that if he hadn’t come under fierce criticism from the media and his political rivals.
Not surprisingly, after release of the letter to the Turkish president, most ardent opponents of Trump and his political adversaries who have launched a campaign to end his presidency before the next election through the impeachment process have decreased their attacks based on the argument that Trump had ‘given green-light to Turkey to launch its cross-border military operation in Syria’.
Now, my second doubt which is in contrast with the first one above:
At one stage, I got this idea: Could it be the case that the letter dated October 9th 2019 was not actually written right before the start of the Turkish military intervention contrary to what was publicly claimed, but written afterwards as a last resort when Trump was on the ropes before the harsh criticisms, and it was leaked to the media as if it was written before the start of the Turkish operation?
If my second-thought is wrong and the letter was sent on the date indicated on it indeed, I tend to believe that it was responded in the way it deserved. Nevertheless, I still regard it possible that the letter was written later but released as if it was written before the Turkish operation in order to soothe criticisms.
These are my doubts.
But why do I have such doubts?
I am of the opinion that there is a peculiar rapport between the two leaders that is not easy to discern while looking at from outside. This is what underlies both of my doubts.
Let me clarify what I exactly mean here:
Trump often and clearly mentions nowadays his friendly relation with the Turkish president in his talks before large crowds of people while his country simmers with anti-Turkey and anti-Erdoğan sentiments. He gave long talks in his rallies in a number of states in last days, and complimented President Erdoğan in each of these talks.
Some people may come to different conclusions about the relationship between these two men -and they do; however, even though their respective starting points are distinctly different, I feel that Trump and Erdoğan share similar thoughts in their daily political preferences.
Pay particular attention to preferences in economics
The most striking example for my impression in this respect is the similar approach to economics that these two leaders share in common.
Who steers the economy in the USA is not politicians, but the head of the American Central Bank, named ‘The Federal Reserve’. Decisions taken by this body affect, not only the American economy, but our national markets too. The head of the Federal Reserve is appointed by the president, but the president cannot intervene in economic policies that the chairman of the Federal Reserve pursues.
Alan Greenspan, appointed to the head of the Federal Reserve by Ronald Reagan, held his chair during administrations of the three subsequent presidents from the both parties, and remained in this position from 1987 to 2006.
Donald Trump, however, often reprimands Jerome Powell although he himself appointed this man to the head of the Federal Reserve.
For what reason?
Because of not cutting the interest rates. . .
[In Turkey, President Erdoğan has been pestering the Central Bank to lower interest rates; he has accepted gladly the resignation of CB chairman he himself appointed when he refused to do so.]
Please make a research about it if this surprises you.
More examples of common daily political preferences between the two presidents may easily be given.
Both of these leaders want to use their political power as presidents elected by public vote, and believe that power-sharing is unacceptable.
There is another political affinity which is hardly pointed out by anyone: The both leaders are against globalization. Trump supports vehemently the idea of Britain’s exit from the European Union, for instance.
Trump has turned his anti-globalization stand into a dimension of his policies, and openly shares his stand with American people. This is why he seeks ways to withdraw American troops in abroad back home: He uses the argument, “What are we doing there?”.
That letter just boggled my mind.