Following a visit from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and an invitation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will drop in on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this Tuesday.
Noting that with a few frilly compliments Abbas was able to secure from Trump a public vow for economic aid, Erdogan can be expected to deploy a similar charm offensive.
So, he’ll set about convincing Trump that the 138,147 Turks fired by government decree, the 8,271 sacked academics, the 4,424 canned judges and prosecutors, the 101,485 detained and 50,601 arrested Turks, the 231 arrested journalists, the 2,099 shuttered schools and universities and the 149 closed media outlets were all in on last summer’s coup conspiracy. He’ll insist that the Kurds fighting ISIS and attacked by Turkey are really terrorists — along, of course, with all those tens of thousands of coup co-conspirators.
Erdogan might decide to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, wrongly imprisoned since October, if he feels he’s getting something greater from Trump in return. And more than anything, he wants the extradition of his former ally turned opponent, Poconos resident Fethullah Gülen, for paranoid allegations that Gülen led the coup attempt.