ANKARA: First clues from the Washington meeting

Daily Sabah, Turkey

First clues from the Washington meeting

MAHMUT ÖVÜR @mahmutovur

Finally, the much-awaited meeting between President Recep Tayyip
Erdoğan and the U.S. President Donald Trump took place on May 16.
Despite the negative propaganda campaign that was conducted for days
before the meeting, the picture that emerged following the meeting was
positive in terms of both Turkey-U.S. relations and relations between
the two leaders.

Neither side is willing to cut ties with each other. Even this factor
is a serious failure for the power groups pressing upon Turkey over
the past few years. The groups wishing to isolate Turkey have so far
conducted a large-scale operation to manipulate opinions via the

Interestingly, the same groups have also blockaded Trump within the
U.S. Even though Trump was democratically elected, he does not have
full command over the state yet. All the establishment figures,
including the Pentagon and the CIA, are forcing Trump to implement
older policies while exerting the utmost effort to unseat him. The
meeting of the two leaders took place in the shadow of this blockade.

Another aspect affecting the meeting was Erdoğan's meetings in India,
China and Russia directly before heading to the U.S. The center of the
world is now shifting towards the East. And Turkey is a key country in
this new order due to its position as an energy corridor and the New
Silk Road project that will become the future axis of trade by
connecting Beijing to London.

With his remarks, Trump indicated that he received the message Turkey
wished to convey, which is reminiscent of the words of the late İsmet
İnönü in 1964, "Turkey will find itself a place in the new world."
Trump's emphasis on Turkey's regional and global significance was not
arbitrary. Although there are some missing details for now, several
important aspects stand out when the outcome is considered within this

First of all, although he does not have full command over the state
yet, Trump displayed his willingness to improve relations with Turkey
while showing that he understands Turkey's concerns about the safe
zone in Syria and the organizations including the Democratic Union
Party (PYD) and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

Secondly, by referring to the PKK terror group along with the name of
Daesh, Trump signaled that the PKK might be excluded from the equation
in the new period just like the outlawed Armenian Secret Army for the
Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), which was finally dissolved in the
early 1990s.

Despite this, President Erdoğan's warning regarding the relations
between the PYD, the PKK and the People's Protection Units (YPG) was
necessary, and marked the direction of the steps that will be taken
from now on. It will be no surprise if some major developments with
regard to the PYD and the PKK are seen in Syria in the near future.

The third important subject matter for Turkey was what steps the U.S.
administration would take against FETÖ. However, this subject will
likely be discussed for a long time since it is not easy to take
measures against the coup attempting organization in the presence of
the U.S. establishment. For this, a complete discharge of the former
administration is required. Also, deporting FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen
will remain short of resolving the problem.

The course of events may change unless Trump has an accident. FETÖ can
be rapidly purged not only at the level of leadership, but as an
institution. Since the terrorist group is aware of this, it is
desperately attacking both Turkey and Trump while siding with the CIA.

As for Turkey, there is a wide range of options in terms of creating
new policies in the near future, since Turkey has many opportunities
when viewed through the lens of the progress of the new world, global
opportunities and partnerships instead of considering the relations of
some states with regional groups.