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Amid Protests, Leading Erdogan Critic in Turkish Press Praises Meeting With Trump

Amid Protests, Leading Erdogan Critic in Turkish Press Praises Meeting With Trump
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

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Wednesday, 13 November 2019 09:07 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Whether the issue is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s acceptance of Russian-made S-400 missiles or his recent strike against the Kurds in North Syria, members of Congress from both parties as well as much of the U.S. press have been questioning why President Donald Trump insisted on inviting him to the White House on Wednesday. 

With Washington, D.C. an armed camp on Wednesday to ensure Erdogan’s security, various groups opposed to the Turkish strongman — Kurds, Armenians, and dissident Turkish-Americans — are planning a massive rally at Lafayette Square.

But, in a surprise development, one of Erdogan’s most noted critics in the Turkish press hailed the summit with Trump and emphasized how important it is “to keep the dialogue open between Ankara and Washington.”

“Both Trump and Erdogan are very controversial and polarizing leaders, but both the U.S. and Turkey must think beyond that, and recognize the importance of a relationship between the two countries,” Cansu Camlibel, editor-in-chief of “duvaR.english,” the online English-language publication with a history of criticizing Erdogan, told Newsmax.

In a telephone interview from Istanbul on Wednesday, onetime Harvard Nieman Journalism Fellow Camlibel emphasized “the U.S. must not leave Turkey as it struggles to redefine its policies in the next decade.  Given that Turkey is part of the NATO alliance, a strong effort must be made to keep it anchored to the Western order.”

Famed as the Washington, D.C. correspondent of the venerable newspaper Hurriyet (Liberty) —71 years old and now holder of the highest circulation of any major Turkish publication — Camlibel has been likened to legendary Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci for her interviews with international figures such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

Last year, as the Erdogan government strengthened its hand within the Turkish media, an exclusive interview by Camlibel with Pastor Andrew Brunson following his release after two years of captivity in Turkey was canceled by Hurriyet. In March of  2018, she resigned her position in Washington and returned home to Istanbul. Earlier this year, she signed on with “duvaR.english.”

On Erdogan’s decision to accept the Russian missiles, Camlibel says “he had no choice but to join forces with Russia because Western allies have left him.” 

She also feels that Erdogan could be brought back into the Western fold and that he will be a serious negotiator because of tough actions taken by the U.S. Congress — notably, passage of tough sanctions, condemnation of Turkey’s attack on the Kurds, and, most recently, approval of the decades-old Armenian Genocide Resolution that has long been anathema to Turkey.

Erdogan, Camlibel told us, “will bring up again his request that [Islamic cleric and sworn Erdogan foe Fethullah] Gulen be extradicted to Turkey for trial [over his alleged role in the 2016 coup attempt at overthrowing the Turkish president].”  Trump has so far declined to send Gulen back to almost certain conviction and execution. 

In Camlibel’s view, continued and serious dialogue between the U.S. and Turkey is critical because of much bigger issues that lie ahead. These include, she feels, a possible resurgence of ISIS, the flight of Syrian refugees to .Europe, and the struggle of the Muslim world against the Christian one.

“We are in a very unique strategic position,” she told us, “The U.S. should not lose Turkey.  It needs to look ahead and to look beyond Erdogan.” 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
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Whether the issue is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s acceptance of Russian-made S-400 missiles or his recent strike against the Kurds in North Syria, members of Congress from both parties as well as much of the U.S. press have been questioning why . . .
trump, erdogan, camlibel, gulen, russia
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2019-07-13
Wednesday, 13 November 2019 09:07 AM
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