What Does Trump Think of Turkey? -by Serdar Turgut #TurkeyUS
I realize this is quite an ambitious title. It is a challenge to claim to know what a president who is hardly understood by the people around him thinks of Turkey.
So, let me go ahead and explain how this article came to be.
I checked with three different sources to understand what the president thinks of Turkey:
1- In this city, American think-tanks are considered to be a part of the administration. This makes the organizations with agencies that are concerned with Turkey stand right at the center of opinions regarding Turkey. I studied working here in 1992, and I have kept my connections ever since.
2- I had the opportunity to speak with many bureaucrats with neoconservative tendencies most of whom are connected with the administration. They know about the issues and they like to talking to me thanks to our long-standing friendship.
3- I also had the opportunity to meet with national security experts with whom we meet every week to discuss all that is happening behind the scenes in Washington, DC.
I realize it is unusual for a journalist to talk about their methods of work, but it was essential to do it for the purposes of this article. It is part of my responsibility against my readers.
After talking with president Erdogan, Trump took the decision to pull out of Syria with ease, because this is what was going through his mind:
1- Trump was happy with both military operations that Turkey conducted in Syria -namely, Operations: Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch. He supported them while his advisors were against them. That was because Trump saw that the United States left behind a ruin behind every region it claimed to liberate (such as Rakka and Mosul) and that this was isolating America. Turkey, on the other hand, was extra careful with the civilians in the regions it operated in. IT di everything it could so the civilians weren’t harmed. And when the military operation was over, Turkey initiated a fast return to normalcy over there. This is something the United States wasn’t able to do, and that troubled Trump.
2- Turkey’s soft power standing in the region is on the rise because of this. She quickly became the most trusted power in the region. It is especially the younger generation that have an affinity for Turkey now that she has sent instructors, doctors, and built hospitals and schools and provided electricity, education and health services.
3- President Trump thinks that two important processes are about to take start in the region. The new constitution is about to be introduced, and the rebuilding of the country is beginning to take shape. Trump knows that neither of these is possible without Turkey’s participation. HE also realizes that the United States has to work in tandem with Turkey in order to keep its standing with Russia.
4- Trump, the businessman, knows well about the rebuilding process in Syria. He knows that without Turkey, and taking the attitudes of the local people in to consideration, this would be a sure-fail.
After all this, President Trump opted to work in coordination with Turkey who has long-standing, as well as an ideological following tie in the region rather than following his commanders’ advice.
(It is also important to add that the team around Erdogan were extremely successful in managing the process. The policies following the Khashoggi murder were particularly effective).
Originally published at: https://www.haberturk.com/yazarlar/serdar-turgut-2025/2270257-trump-turkiyeyi-nasil-dusunuyor