As the heartless deal-maker himself put it, he had a “little conflict of interest,” with regards to Trump Towers in Istanbul, Turkey.
by Steven Melendez, fastcompany.com — 10-07-2019
In a December 2015 interview with the right-wing news outlet Breitbart, then-candidate Trump responded to a question about Turkey’s reliability in the fight against ISIS by saying he had a “little conflict of interest,” speaking of the Trump Towers in Istanbul. It’s unclear exactly how much money Trump and his companies get from those twin structures, which include an office tower and a residential building complete with wine cellar. Financial disclosures suggest he’s pulled in between $3.2 million and $17 million from the arrangement with site developer Aydin Dogan since he first launched his presidential campaign, according to a report in Mother Jones.
President Trump’s surprise push Sunday to move U.S. troops from Syria, potentially opening the door for Turkish operations against Kurdish forces on the border of the two countries, quickly drew criticism from both sides of the political aisle.
Trump Betrayed the Kurds. He Couldn’t Help Himself.
Humiliating his own Cabinet secretaries was bad. Putting faithful American allies in harm’s way is far worse.
by Peter Wehner, Contributing writer at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC
President Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds stung deeply. “They trusted us and we broke that trust. It’s a stain on the American conscience.” These, according to The New York Times, are the searing words of an Army officer who has worked alongside the Kurds in northern Syria.
Kurdish forces played a central role in aiding the United States in fighting the Islamic State. But in a phone call a week ago Sunday, Trump gave the green light to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to invade northern Syria—and, in the process, to engage in what even one of Trump’s most loyal supporters, Senator Lindsey Graham, describes as the “ethnic cleansing” of the Kurds.
Bolton Book Puts New Focus on Trump’s Actions in Turkey and China Cases
Mr. Erdogan, in a series of phone calls and in-person conversations in 2018 and 2019, repeatedly tried to persuade Mr. Trump to use his power to limit additional enforcement action against Halkbank itself, something the Justice Department had made clear it was considering.
After one phone conversation in late 2018, Mr. Erdogan told reporters in Turkey that Mr. Trump had told him that “he would instruct the relevant ministers immediately” to follow through on the matter.
“Talks are underway about this issue,” Mr. Erdogan said at the time. “It is very important that this process has begun.”
Mr. Erdogan’s son-in-law, who serves as Turkey’s finance minister, also took up the case, pressing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the matter. Other appeals were made by the former project manager of Trump Towers Istanbul, a twin-tower complex and mall that was the Trump family’s first high-rise project in Europe.
Asked about Turkey’s lobbying efforts in an interview in October, Mr. Mnuchin cited the ongoing legal process and would not comment.
Bolton Told Barr He Was Worried Trump Was Doing Favors For Xi And Erdogan, Book Reportedly Says
According to the Times, [Bill] Barr also cited his concerns over Trump’s conversations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2018 about Halkbank.
The state-owned bank was under investigation at the time for fraud and money laundering, part of an alleged scheme to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Ultimately, the bank was charged in October in the Southern District of New York.
TRUMP TOWERS — ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Trump Towers, Istanbul, Sisli is a landmark in the historic city of Istanbul. With two towers rising in Mecidiyekoy, one of the city’s most vibrant areas, the property captures the utmost in luxury. The residential tower, just under 40 stories, consists of over 200 residences, and will feature the expansive layouts, meticulous eye for design and lavish finishes synonymous with the Trump name. Forest, city and Bosporus views will be extraordinary through the vista of floor-to-ceiling windows.
In addition, residents will enjoy a full service spa and fitness center, an indoor pool, a 24-hour doorman, a business center, and a vast range of additional amenities. The office tower, also 40 stories, will offer commercial luxury at its finest, with a private entrance, a beauty center, fitness area and pool for those working in the building. A luxury retail component of over 400,000-square-feet rests at the base of both towers, offering residents and visitors the best in retail and dining with personalized service incomparable to anything in Istanbul.
2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria
The 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, code-named Operation Peace Spring (Turkish: Barış Pınarı Harekâtı) by the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), was a cross-border military operation conducted by the Turkish military and the Syrian National Army (SNA) against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northeastern Syria.
On 6 October 2019, the Trump administration ordered American troops to withdraw from northeastern Syria, where the United States had been supporting its Kurdish allies. The military operation began on 9 October 2019 when the Turkish Air Force launched airstrikes on border towns. The conflict resulted in the displacement of over 300,000 people and has caused the death of more than 70 civilians in Syria and 20 civilians in Turkey. Human rights violations have also been reported. Amnesty International stated that it had gathered evidence of war crimes and other violations committed by Turkish and Turkey-backed Syrian forces who are said to “have displayed a shameful disregard for civilian life, carrying out serious violations and war crimes, including summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and injured civilians”.
Civilians flee as Syria Kurds battle Turkish invasion
arabnews.com; AFP — Oct 12, 2019
TALL TAMR, Syria: Thousands of civilians fled air strikes and shelling as Syria’s Kurds battled to hold off a Turkish invasion on Thursday, with fears mounting of a developing humanitarian crisis.
US President Donald Trump tried to justify the de facto green light he gave his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for an assault seen as a blatant betrayal of Washington’s erstwhile Kurdish allies.
If Bill Barr was worried about the deals Trump was cutting with Turkish President Erdoğan, as he confided in John Bolton — you know it must have been really bad.
Even more corrupt than usual, in other words.
President Trump has fired national security adviser John Bolton [Sept 9, 2019], the lifelong proponent of American hard power, after months of division between the men over the direction of foreign and national security policy.
www.npr.org — Sept 10, 2019
What else will we learn from a John Bolton scorned?
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.