The Turkish Paper Tiger

“Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you do not know me,” Christ said to the Apostle Peter.

The Turks are trying to give the impression that they are moving away from Trump.

Friday morning, New York time, Biden was leading in Pennsylvania, but his victory did not yet seem certain. Arizona was also still in play,  but it seemed that in the end he would prevail.

Two days ago, Trump appeared in the Press Room to emphasize – wrongly – that the Democrats are going to ‘steal’ his election.

In Constantinople, the Turkish Foreign Ministry had its regular meeting – this year online – with all its ambassadors, inside and outside Turkey (a good example for all Foreign Ministries).

And yet, Cavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, speaking on behalf of and – of course – under the direction of his boss, Turkish President Erdogan, said what would be self-evident under other circumstances: “no matter who wins, we will approach the U.S. government in the same manner, as we approach any other state," and added that Turkey looks forward to a relationship beyond politics, and that “we want to take sincere steps to the existing problems.”

This is a remarkable ‘summersault’ that would be envied by Alexis Tsipras.

Turkey has a long tradition in this game. It has often been known as that “evasive neutral” country.

Ankara approaches the strong man of the moment, builds ‘a thousand temples’ in his honor to secure his favor, and at the first sign of weakness, pretends not to recognize him.

The bad thing is that this policy seems to have worked so far. We hope this was the last time.

Erdogan, apparently under the weight of his troublesome close relationship with Trump, is rushing to embrace Biden. To claim that relations between his country and America are more or less ‘normal.’

However, this relationship with Trump has become widely known in the United States. It has been recorded in books and newspaper articles. Trump's personal economic relationship with Turkey has been revealed. It is certain that Biden knows all about it.

It is also certain that he knows of the problems Erdogan is creating in his relations with Greece and Cyprus.

He referred to them and his positions in the statement he gave to the National Herald, and now that he has been elected, we will be able to remind him of them if necessary.

The question is, what do the Turks mean by the phrase: “we want to take sincere steps to the existing problems”?

But the really big question – as we have asked so many times – is what Erdogan will do from now until January 20?

Is the above statement of Cavusoglu enough to sever his bridges with Trump? If so, then Erdogan will have to calm down.

It will be very important to follow their statements – and what is going on behind the scenes – in the coming days. A lot may depend on them.


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