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If the Judge Who Slammed Trump Were in Turkey?

A fundamental mistake made in Turkey’s public and media discourse regarding America is an excessive tendency to generalize, as if there is only one America and a single political approach.

In reality, even within the same political party, there are different approaches, let alone across the country. The media and civil society are very diverse and multifaceted.

Take, for example, the human tragedy in Gaza.

President Biden and the White House administration unconditionally supported Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu, but not everyone in the country shares this view.

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people participated in a protest in Washington DC, coming from all over the country to criticize the Biden administration and call for an immediate ceasefire. Such actions would be unimaginable in Turkey.

For instance, during a Congressional hearing where Secretary of State Blinken was requesting funds for Israel, protesters painted their hands red, raising them to create a historic photograph.

Similar scenes unfolded outside the White House on Sunday.

Biden’s “Bloody Hands” Message

Protesters with red-painted hands left handprints on the walls of Biden’s house. The message was clear: thousands, including Jews, devout Christians, and Muslims, were essentially saying “your hands are bloody.”

The Biden administration faces significant criticism for its unconditional support of Israel, reflected in public opinion polls.

A Reuters and Ipsos poll concluded over the weekend showed a record decline in support for President Biden, with only 39% approval. The two major issues highlighted by participants were ‘war and external conflicts’ and the economy.

This situation makes next year’s presidential elections even more critical, as Biden’s age and controversial policies are causing a decline in support.

On the other hand, the Republicans’ leading candidate, Donald Trump, is making a strong comeback, leading in the five key states that will determine the election’s outcome.

There are alarming scenarios about what might happen if Trump becomes president again, especially as he and his supporters, who are facing legal troubles, openly declare their intent to seek revenge if they return to power.

Despite winning the last election due to COVID-19 and voters’ fear of Trump, Biden’s situation does not look promising this time. Concerns about his advanced age and health are significant issues within the Democratic Party. If Biden does not step down, it’s highly likely that a challenger will emerge from within the party.

Now, let’s discuss the judge mentioned in the headline, which provides crucial insight into understanding America and the upcoming period.

Trump Facing Legal Battles

Trump is embroiled in legal troubles, with 92 charges in four separate cases, two at the state level and two federally. This detail is important because if Trump is convicted and elected president, he can pardon himself for federal crimes but not for state crimes.

In a case in New York focusing on his companies, Trump and his family have been appearing in court since the beginning of the week, drawing significant media attention.

The case involves accusations by New York state prosecutors that Trump’s companies inflated their financial value for unjust gain, involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

Trump, who has turned previous court appearances into political campaigns, made accusatory statements against the prosecutor and the court upon arrival.

New York Attorney General Letitia James responded, “The only important things are the facts and figures.”

In the courtroom, Trump often clashed with Judge Engoron, leading to scenes unimaginable in Turkey. Judge Engoron scolded Trump, demanding direct answers and threatening to remove him from the witness stand. When Trump persisted, the judge instructed his attorney to “take your client to the back of the courtroom and explain the court’s rules.” Trump’s attorney responded, “Former President Trump, who will soon be president again, knows the rules.”

Despite Trump’s status as a wealthy and powerful figure and the leading candidate for the next election, neither the security nor the judicial bureaucracy is stepping back. Trump-appointed FBI directors and judges are courageously prosecuting him.

Imagine a Turkish judge putting a strong and wealthy political figure, soon to become president, on the stand and scolding him for evasive answers. As someone who has observed Turkish courts for a quarter-century, I can hardly imagine it.

In Turkey, the opposite happens. Prosecutors, judges, police chiefs, and commanders loyal to the Erdoğan regime are rewarded, while those adhering to the law find themselves imprisoned. In the U.S., the idea of prosecuting or imprisoning journalists who report on these allegations and court proceedings is unthinkable.

This is the ‘small difference’ between Turkey and the U.S.!

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Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Arslan
Adem Yavuz Aslan is a leading Turkish investigative journalist in exile based in Washington, D.C.

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