The Strategist

Trump offers Erdogan $100 bln deal

11/13/2019 - 08:42

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan begins his two-day visit to the United States on November 1. There, he will meet with Donald Trump, who recently threatened to destroy the Turkish economy and imposed sanctions against Ankara. Such a reaction was caused by actions of the Turks in Syria that were not coordinated with Washington. After operation was suspended, Trump somehow softened, but the US Congress was determined, and prominent Republicans even demanded the exclusion of Turkey from NATO.

Defense İmagery
Defense İmagery
The visit to the United States will be the first meeting between Erdogan and Trump after Turkey’s operation “Peace Spring” in Turkey. The Turkish leader explained his actions by protecting the Turkish borders from Kurdish militants, but the US said the operation threatened the US military.

To convince the Turkish leader to retreat, Trump wrote him a rather tough letter.

"As I said earlier, if Turkey does something that, with all my great and unsurpassed wisdom, I consider being beyond the scope, I will erase the Turkish economy from the face of the Earth," the US president warned. This is the first open statement of this kind to the second most important US ally in the region after Israel.

To prove their intentions, the United States imposed sanctions against Turkish business and individual officials. However, they were removed in a while after Turkey stopped the operation. 

The incident forced Trump to change his anger for mercy. He canceled the sanctions, although added that they could be reintroduced in the event of the resumption of hostilities in Turkey.

This is not the only letter. On the day of Erdogan's arrival, The Washington Post, citing its sources, reported that Trump offered the Turkish leader a bargain and a “workaround” to resolve the situation with the sanctions promised due to Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.

The deal amounted to $ 100 billion. A letter with the terms of the deal was sent to the Turkish president last week.

However, according to the publication, some lawmakers in the US House of Representatives will be dissatisfied with this proposal of the American leader.

The fact that Trump has so far changed his attitude is evidenced by a recent telephone conversation between the two leaders. The parties discussed bilateral cooperation, establishing peaceful relations with Syrian Kurds. The American leader described the conversation as "very good."

At that, the relations between two countries are still far from very good. Turkey’s actions in Syria, which the US did not like, were just the tip of the iceberg. Relations between the two countries began to deteriorate during the time of Barack Obama. Then the United States removed Patriot missile systems from Turkish territory, and Erdogan began to look for opportunities to acquire such weapons from Russia.

As a result, Moscow delivered to Turkey four divisions of the S-400 air defense system in the amount of about $ 2.5 billion, which became the largest export contract between Russia and the NATO bloc countries.

In response, the United States limited military cooperation with Turkey under the F-35 fifth-generation fighter-bombers program. Ankara was an active participant in the program and invested almost $ 200 million in it.

S-400 systems in Turkey should take up combat duty in 2020, but Washington still intends to convince Ankara to abandon the deal. This was announced on CBS by Robert O'Brien, US National Security Advisor, on the eve of Erdogan’s arrival.

The White House is aware that Turkey remains the most important US partner in NATO. Ankara has the second largest army in the alliance. The İncirlik base located on its territory is of key importance to Washington. Iran, the regional adversary of the United States, is in its reach and Washington well understands this. In addition, Turkey has a missile attack early warning radar and a command center that coordinates alliance ground operations. In recent years, NATO has invested more than $ 5 billion in various military facilities in Turkey.