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What really happened in New York: Insights of Erdogan’s visit to the U.S.

Erdogan arrived in the US for a four-day stay for the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. Erdogan, who made a speech at the UN General Assembly and paid official visits in New York, flew to Germany late evening on Wednesday.

So, what really happened in New York? Who said and exchanged what?

As you are already aware, the relationship between the US and Turkey has been going downhill for a long time now. The list of problems is also quite long.
Trump and Erdogan did not meet “officially”. White House and Bestepe had already broken ties with each other because of Pastor Brunson crisis. The “backdoor diplomacy” continues between the bureaucracies of Pentagon and Turkey, but it is going on with such secrecy, nothing seems to be surfacing about the details.

Erdogan had said “I will not ask for an appointment from Trump.” Before visiting the US. According to the statement of Nicky Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, it was revealed in the following days that an appointment was actually requested.

Since the US side did not give a positive response, the meeting did not take place. However, something strange happened. Since Trump was late for the UN meeting, his turn for giving a speech had changed, and Trump gave a speech just before Erdogan did.

Thus, two leaders inevitably came across on the corridor which leads to the rostrum. Two leaders greeted each other and proceeded on their way. We really do not know how long this encounter took in seconds, but according to the partisan media, Erdogan successfully met with Trump in the UN.

The joy of the partisans and trolls was something spectacular. Furthermore, a gallery was generated consisting images from that few second encounter in the partisan media.

The partisan media, which filled out empty seats with photoshop in the past, did not surprise anybody when they published news content such as “two leaders discussed regional issues”.

Fortunately, two leaders came across in the corridor, and there were a few images available even if they were blurry. So, we have one image at the end of a four-day visit. By the way, Erdogan “somehow” did not attend the dinner hosted by Trump for the world leaders. Last year, they had eaten and posed for the cameras side by side on the same table. It is possible to say that had that “corridor meeting” not happened, there would be “zero contact” between the Turkish and US committees.


UN assemblies are like a stage for the world leaders.

It is customary to go up to the rostrum, pay official visits to the other world leaders, make interviews with the US media, and give lectures in distinguished think tanks and universities.

Hence, so many leaders do these. Erdogan was doing the same until quite recently. However, his visit this year turned out to be just a “Turkish propaganda to Turkish people”.

Erdogan did not give any speeches in any of the think tanks or universities. Instead, he gave speeches in state-favored institutions such as SETA (Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research) and TAIK (The Turkey-U.S. Business Council).

In other words, Erdogan was the host again. As far as we are concerned, the interest of the Americans was not at a considerable level.

As a matter of act, it is quite normal for any think tank not to favor Erdogan for a speech after seeing the Brookings scandal. Considering the security terror in Washington last year, Erdogan giving a speech “in his own neighborhood” might be an “obligation” rather than a “choice.” According to those in-the-know, the parties which were proposed “let’s do a common program”, or offered “donations” with many digits turned down these requests with a “no” to Erdogan.

Another interesting fact about Erdogan’s visit was Berat Albayrak’s attitude towards his US addressees. According to Albayrak, there is no specific problem in Turkey and the US investors could turn up with their minds at peace.

According to the partisan media, Albayrak left such an impression on the investors, the giant companies of the US started to get in line to go to Turkey.

But there is one thing they are missing; the capitalists of USA are not readers of partisan media, they do not break their iPhones, nor hide their dollars.


In my opinion, the most significant event of Erdogan’s New York visits was his statement about Pastor Brunson. Erdogan, who said “give the pastor, take the pastor” and “we will make the thing in our judiciary” recently, told Reuters that Brunson issue only concerns the courts.

Erdogan said that the verdict will be provided by the courts, and that he does not know anything about the verdict which is to come on October 12th. Erdogan’s statements about Turkish judiciary being independent or the verdict belonging only to the courts are not convincing in Turkey, nor in the US.

So, why was the outburst? Why Erdogan threw the AKP (Justice and Development Party) members a curve with an agile maneuver?

The answer lies within the statement of Secretary of State of the US, Mike Pompeo. Pompeo announced that Pastor Brunson will be released at the end of the month.

He made this announcement after he had a meeting with Mevlut Cavusoglu. At this point, it is no use to ask questions like “what happened to the independence of the judiciary, Pastor Brunson was a spy, he had participated in the coup?”.

There is no point beating around the bush. The US was promised that Brunson will be released, and it is being arranged with such statements. Erdogan, who was giving speeches 24/7 like “The US declared an economic war on us” until yesterday, stated that “the case of Pastor Brunson has nothing to do with economy” yesterday.

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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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