tv 2016 Coup Attempt in Turkey Panel 2 CSPAN July 11, 2017 12:43am-2:01am EDT
slant that takes a role. but we also need to question our self. yes, we have a major freedom of speech issue in the country. this is, i am again hoping, it will not be permanent. i think turkey has a major crisis right now. turkey did have a crisis in the past, as well. turkey usually muddles true. i'm hoping we will overcome with the support of the domestic forces in the country and some external support from outside, as well. >> think you very much. take you to the catalyst -- panaelists. [applause] >> we will take a five-minute break before setting the stage for the keynote.
against three terrorist organizations in the coup attempt, and also how turkey is in thiswith challenges era. we have to go back to the background to understand these. we will have four distinguished guests today. we will try to understand what happened in terms of foreign policy and security issues in the aftermath of the july 15 coup attempt. also some background about this. speakers. have four isassador james jeffrey, who
a distinguished fellow at washington institute. our second speaker will be professor rene. she is an expert on turkish security of foreign policy. our third speaker is criminal richard alston, -- colonel richard alston. the chair speaker is andecurity studies professor of international university. seta mr. ambassador. >> let me tackle this from two standpoints. one of them is the situation related to the coup and how it
impacted bilateral relations. secondly, the much broader context of american-turkish bilateral relations in the context of the middle east and eurasia. was extremely fortunate to have survived a coup of this danger.and the united states, as many turks have pointed out, was expected to immediately embrace a democratically elected government after a military coup, and it was disappointing. i was involved in the decision in the first few hours, and i can assure you, this was not a deliberate action by the administration. rather, any of you who have followed president obama in the press know that he does not make decisions quickly. he likes to have all of the facts. it was an effort to gather facts
by many of us to find out what was going on. that led to the delay. that was unfortunate, because in circumstances like that, you have to act immediately and we did not. so that was the first blow. was in some of the military commanders, was focused is entirely on isis. i want to underline that, because to understand the foreign policy context, when there is no more isis, the american military will no longer have the war it has wanted for 20 years. suddenly,ng well, interlopers cannot be talked with. out whaterals blurted -- out the first things that came to mind. know, the generals who run the war in syria and iraq are not the generals who report to our european command and work to corporate with turkey.
the bigger problem is the ulenrrassing fact that the g is sitting in the united states. asked for his extradition. the admission nation has yet to get a response that turkey would find acceptable. that will continue for some time because of the nature of the court system in america, which not only turks but donald trump has discovered are very independent and slow to take decisions. nonetheless, there is a point that the administration could do more to rein in this organization, the allegedly charitable educational actions of an organization which at best is opaque and at worst, as many correctly believe i think, was behind the coup. out of thisd news
thing a year later is that as there is no see, , think tank,ia academic or other actor who has appeared to challenge the idea that this coup was, as you heard this morning, mainly done by the ists. people that question what came after, and that will continue, but there's not been major challenge to that. journalistsdent have come to the conclusion that the gulenists were behind it. what remains in play on a bilateral level is that first of all, turkish suspicions that begin on the evening of july 15 and have continued. the very difficult problem of extraditing gulen, and largely
concern in washington that the turkish government has gone too far in dismissing people from government jobs or prosecuting tie because of an alleged to the movement. this is tied up with the overall discomfort of many in america with where turkey is going politically. not economically or in terms of security or diplomacy, politically. again, that is not at the center of american concerns, at least not the administration concerns, it plays a big role in media and congress, and both will have to watch it in terms of the broader for policy, the basic issue is the global system that both america and turkey have participated in and very much benefited from is under threat. in the middle east, it is under threat by iran to some degree,
the sunni radical extremist groups, and now russia joining iran and in europe, it is under threat by russia. this is something that both the united states and turkey are aware of. erdogan has spoken of a turkish approach the news to be worked on. thes very different from apocalyptic approach. to him it is more videos -- geostrategic issue. this is an area of considerable cooperation and coordination between the two countries. i am pretty optimistic about that. syriay issue will be after isis is defeated, what could be, and when i say isis is
defeated, i mean as a state and army, not as an idea or a terrorist group, but as a state and an army, it will be defeated in the weeks ahead. the question is, what do we do with syria and iraq afterwards? there is a general problem of chaos, particularly in syria. there is the problem of iran and its surrogates operating in this region, of great concern to many of us. and in turkey, there is the problem of the ypg and the political and military wings of the pkk. essentially, people in america know this, but because this is y against isisl and isis remains a priority, the united states is going to continue to work with the ypg, the pyd and the syrian democratic forces, but we know who arrive most of the fighting
kurdishhich is the military. that problem will remain for some time. what will change it, however, at least on the margins is first of all, after isis is finished, the united states and turkey are going to be sitting, and to some degree with this agreement, jordan and israel, will be sitting on a considerable amount that had been well defended his anybody would try to push into it. who,ng with local forces however disorganized and at each other's throats, none of whom want to go back under president inad and the syrian regime, an environment where the entire region is concerned about iran building on the defeat of isis in iraq and syria to expand its
hold of the middle east, that will be the big question. i would like to say this is where the united states is going to be, there will have to be some kind of coordination. all it can say is nobody knows yet where the united states quite is on this because it is a difficult problem. around before, we were successful in the iran war and pushing it back, we slipped into iraq in 1983, we were not successful in beirut or in a political military campaign in 2011 to stay in iraq. our own success with iran is mixed. this will be the key geopolitical issue that we will have with turkey. it will be affected by domestic results, domestic situation in turkey to the extent it will get worse. it will be affected by the gulen
situation and the why pc -- ypg question. what do we do in iraq and syria with the iranian threat in total disorganization of the region? thank you. i will lead you to fix that mess. >> thank you. i will ask questions after the panel, but i have a simple question. for most ordinary people in somehow [indiscernible] in july the 15th field coup -- failed coup. what should the u.s. have done everly -- done differently? what could've been done better? turkeye is a belief in powersas a very great
versus the rest worldview, inserts and the schools, it is what i have experienced there. my worldview is not all that different from that, but it particularly sees that great powers do not like competition. turkey's competition, so therefore ever since woodrow wilson advocated an independent kurdistan, and never heard an american other than those who served in turkey who knows that fact, and i have never heard a turk does not know that fact. there is a general feeling of suspicion that united states is always trying to clip turkey's wings, to deny them a place in the sun. turkey is not the only country that thinks this way. putin famously believes the greatest disaster of the 20th century was the collapse of the soviet union. even the germans, who in many respects have learned from 1933 through 1945, often feel their
historic and the troll role is inhibited by the united states. it is a normal feeling. you have to try deadly hard -- try it doubly hard to react to it. the obama administration was a few hours slow and adjectives response,immediate immediate responses are imported in diplomacy. putin got it more right than we did, and that is embarrassing. so i think that we're just going to have to live with that. it deepens the suspicion that was there long before this administration and long before the turkish president. >> thank you very much. our second speaker will try to get into the backgrounds of the current situation in turkey, before the coup.
tell us that nature of the discussions in that area. >> thank you very much. tost of all, i would like give my special thanks to the organizers for making me part of this important event today. after the especially july 15 coup attempt, so many articles were written in media circles and academic circles, wondering about what would be the main quarters of turkish foreign policy, the conduct -- the conduct in the aftermath. this was a domestic disaster. of course it had enormous effect in the determination of the main quarters of turkish policy, but that is not the only factor that determined the outcome.
we need to look at the geopolitical conditions and the realized in the region as turkey as global polarization we were witnessing in the last few years. and in this regard, we know that regarding especially parties of conduct a foreign this was the time that was mostly labeled or described by the criticizing.
they were trying to do. unions how the education came to the floor -- to the fore . she is trying to affect cultural and business life. how many minutes you have? just about finished, maybe. i will stop here. i will let my colleagues follow up to it thank you for your patience. so, [indiscernible] do you think the july 15 to had a strong or influential role in turkey's change of grown strategy,
especially with relations with or did it just accelerate the process? allies, asds on our well. turkey is living in a difficult situation, neighboring with a not a country, superpower, maybe of yesterday, has power., who the situation depending on importing energy mostly from and thes a factor relations between the two. in --, there is no change [indiscernible] this is their coup. grown ajuly 16 two has
little uneasiness, especially on behalf of turkish people. act --re expecting expecting to act very quickly to make the position that they are fighting with turkish demands for democracy. [indiscernible] by losing their lives or wounding themselves. as i said, there is not much change in terms of the main quarters of foreign policy, but ,ou need to reassess yourself being in the troubled region, you need to balance your relations all the time. it depends on how your neighboring countries, big and small ones are acting, so it is yournormal to reassess situation. >> thank you very much.
[indiscernible] we usually don't see what is going on in turkey in the war environment. how does it look from washington, d.c. in comparison -- what isher cases the direction of turkey? >> i would say, there are really no other cases to which this can be compared. suis generis for sure. -- tld like to think hank the organizers at the one-year event for a very one year --
anniversary for a very important event. i was new at my job at the department of state. i should point out to my have their permission to be here, but i am not speaking for them, i am speaking for myself as someone who is study turkish politics for about 20 years. i'm a military member and an military advisor at the department of state. i have some ability to see both of the state into defense perspective on what happened. i had just started this job when this happened. i came in on the fifth, and then the 15th the coup attempt took place. sometimes i do feel, it in this relationship there is a lot of what amounts to being a marriage counselor. a littleave to explain bit about the american system
and reactions to our friends in turkey. , maybe, ase, i think little more so even then the ambassador, i totally understand why we work slow to respond to that. the event that happened on the 15th of july, to understand that for an american, and very few of us pay attention to international relations on a continuous basis, as a country, that is true, and even those that do typically do not follow one country, we follow a region. i follow the middle east in some countries outside of it. i spent a lot of time thinking about turkey. even those of us who know about >> even those of us who know about turkey a little bit had a hard time following the dynamics that led up to this. it requires first of all the you understand the struggle between akp and its former allies. how that played out in accordance with the judiciary in
business and military and other places. it requires that you understand the factional struggle evolved within the turkish military and other securities forces over a four-year. . it requires you understand a little about the dynamics of the syrian war and how that affected both governments, the u.s. and syria, and how bad and 10th the relations got by the time we were in last summer's atmosphere. it requires an understanding of in what haskages, been described earlier as a mop you-like cold. let me say this, for americans here who have had some experience with the movement, they had very active outreach, and for all i know, still do, trips that they sponsored for people to travel they for many years did support work for turkish diplomacy by introducing
people to turkish culture and folklore and things like this. this is a very benign face of that organization. if you believe it is a multi-national organization that a social component, a business component and everybody in the organization knows about. -- this struggle between the movement and the turkish before the turkish government, the military, how much harder is it for americans who do not follow this to understand this. especially with the face they have seen of this organization is a fairly benign one. you have to understand all these things to have reacted in time, and i will be the first to admit this. coupe month before the attempt, there were some newspaper articles starting to come out and people in the u.s. were saying, the turkish military is unhappy. there might be a coup. i was one of those who said it
is impossible. i will stick by that. i like the explanation that this was not necessarily a military coup, this was a civilian coup played out within the military. think it wasd not possible that the military and the top down, unitary way the turkish military coups happened before, that would not happen, because civilian control of the military has been strengthened so much in the preceding decade. as someone who follows turkey a lot still unable to predict something like this, you have to give us the benefit of the doubt that the shock factor within the u.s. government and the public and bewilderment factor were very high. here,oing to generalize and say in the ensuing year since the coup, there is still a lack of detailed understanding. most of the sources, we talked a little about the documents for the parliamentary commission that look at this.
a lot of the good research that has been done on getting pretty what actually happened that day, most of it is in turkish. there is not been a lot of good in-depth pieces that explain the mechanics of the coup attempt. frankly, most americans are left with a choice of three positions. the three positions they take, the first one is, we do not like erdogan. the third is, maybe we do not understand all of it, but we clearly understand a little bit of what happened. that is the most important and most promising line of thought and inquiry. i hope more people take that. for me, the two conclusions that stand out from the coup is, first of all, understanding the to an unprecedented level, there was a factional war than the turkish military. even for those in the united
states who are not willing to gulen himself knew and designed the whole thing, they have to see the relationships between the faction at the center of this coup and that movement. that should help to take some of the energy out of the suspicion that somehow, this was really done and manufactured to be instrumental allies. last,ot been instrumental and i am on the side of those who say the quicker the investigations and punishments can be done and gotten past, and the quicker something like normal politics can return for turkey, the better it will be for the bilateral relation. but it will help our views and support for that process to come to that understanding. was a real factional war within the turkish military. one of the things i want to talk
about, as someone who has, over the course of nearly 30 years, served on several occasions with the turkish military, is to address the military and security aspects of what came after the coup. the were many voices in the u.s. who said, the turkish military is finished, crippled, it cannot be relied upon. it lost too many pilots, too many generals. it cannot be a successful partner in the war on terror. some of those allegations were made, and i think the good news emma in of course the last year, has been despite the very real damage done to the turkish , they have made great the combatrestoring capabilities and the institutional capabilities of the turkish military. that just a amazing little after a month after the coup had been done, there was , defensiveoperation
neo-realism and the euphrates shield, that required a significant ability to project power and work with allies. it is not an un-controversial mosttion, then again, americans do not understand turkey's unique geopolitics. the fact that such a successful. in the counterterrorism campaign is also very impressive. someeople know less about of the other things going on, such as the fact that in the last two to three years, turkey's defense ministry has taken great strides as well. turkey is producing its own military satellites. the turkish military, over the years i have followed it, has turned into a first world force. in an erotic sense, some of the ironics of the coup -- sense, some of the outcomes of the coup may continue to professionalize and make stronger. some of the things happening will ultimately have a
propitious and very beneficial effect for the turkish military. the three painful to classes of military cadets who were let go, and extremely painful process. i am sure not all of them would have been supporters of the coup. there are some painful and regrettable decisions and aspects of this i think nobody would have wanted. and yet, when we look at it from the rationalization of the services, ultimately, turkey's post--coup-- military and security services are beginning to look more like with the west once. -- what's the west once. i want to end with this. i served with the turkish military in three very distinct periods of time. i the end of the cold war, was an american artillery lieutenant. 2001 through 2003, i was in ankara at the office of defense
cooperation, and then in 2009 and 2010, i served in afghanistan as a liaison officer with the turkish brigade was in eastern kabul. i was actually made the chief of staff of that brigade when it's kernel became ill. i have seen over the course of those decades changes, and not always good changes. washat last assignment, it clear there was something wrong with the culture within the turkish military. groups within that headquarters that clearly did not talk to other groups. i am not going to tell you i -- therek out who was was a sense that the formal chain of command was not everything that determines how the business was going to run. that was an illness than the body of the turkish military. it was an illness that developed because of the factional struggle within the government. that matches what i saw. i thinkof my friends,
of a couple of very good special forces officers i knew in the turkish military, who were denied promotion above a certain rank, because they were very staunch secularist. they refused, in english we would say, to kiss the ring of the people who were the informal powers. the politics of this are compensated. luckily, i am not here to make political commentary. but as a military commentator, i am very encouraged by how the turkish military has adapted since the coup, and even more so how the turkish public and government have not tried to collapse this military or reform it as, for instance, the iranians did after their revolution, and replace it with some sort of revolutionary guard. the turkish people and government still love and trust their military and security services. think the rest is just growing pains.
i am confident and optimistic about where bilateral ties are going, and confident and optimistic specifically about the military-two-military aspect of it did what is happening in and turkey's experience with this coup attempt and how was incubated, have been incredibly distorting and destructive to the bilateral relationship. so with a little tolerance and patience with one another, i think this all caps better. >> thank you very much. we had been expressing changes in turkey. we switch to government systems from parliamentary systems to presidential systems. there is an immense restructuring within the turkish military. what is happening?
can you give us a picture of the defense? >> thank you very much. first of all, it is a great honor to be here. your question is very difficult to explain in such a short time. to be very brief as much as possible. post-'15 military coup attempt is under a political transformation, not only in terms of the changing military dimensions of turkey, but we're also going to witness a kind of sin systemic change i think will radically influence the decision-making process and foreign policy. beeny, of course, has under huge transformations since erdogan came to power.
the way turkey moves into the wider region in the middle east, and the different crises and foreign-policy issues. but i think we're going to see a huge difference compared to previous eras, especially before july at the systemic transformation in july. -- in turkey. but what i would like to talk about is how we can, or how we should understand, how we should explain turkish foreign and security policy, especially in the post-'15 july military coup attempt, by focusing on the developments, the security crisis, so to speak, in the middle east. turkishn working on foreign and security policy for 10 years. now,ked at the university
i am working at a think tank organization. i am advisor to the turkish military. what i have been learning during my experience is that, the ideology and personality of the leaders are not too much important in shaping turkish foreign-policy. what i have been learning during , there are a lot of conceptual and structural variables that are very important in shaping turkish foreign-policy, especially turkey's foreign policy toward the middle east and turkey -united states relations. experiencingnk, the same conjectural dimensions and structural dimensions of the political and security developments in the region, within the development -- within the domestic policy, are shaping foreign-policy. you really need to focus on what
is happening in the middle east, as well as in the domestic politics from the perspective of security challenges turkey has arabfacing since the spring. there are three important dimensions we can take into consideration in order to understand turkish foreign policy. what is turkey's direction will look like in the near future, in into of its involvement the middle eastern crisis. the first one is the regional geopolitical situation that is dramatically affecting turkey's security and foreign-policy perspective towards the different issues in the wider middle east region. the second one is the security challenges, the method security challenges. we cannot separate the security issues of turkey from the middle eastern security crisis.
they are mutually constitutive relationships. example, pyd. i think they are mutually constitutive relationships in terms of undermining turkey's national security architecture. 2015.ally since therefore, we need to really look at the security dynamics in the middle east and domestic challenges of turkey. therefore, the relationship between regional geopolitics and the security challenges are really important to explain turkish foreign-policy and security policy. the third one is also important to understand how domestic political actors are reacting to these crises emanating from serious civil war, iraq, turkey's struggle against the
domestic political concerns. it is really important to see how turkish foreign-policy will look like in the near future. when you look at the regional geopolitics, since the emergency social movements in the middle east after the arab spring. i think we have been experiencing radical challenges. there are, of course, many dimensions of these challenges, but i can summarize by looking at four different dimensions of these radical security challenges. the demolitions of the state sovereignty. i am talking about the failed state. when you look at the wider middle east geography from libya, to yemen, there are many different types of nationstates
that have been affecting the state sovereignty. when you look at the turkish security perspective emma of course syria and iraq are at the center of the declining of the state sovereignty, especially after the arab spring. the second is the proliferation of the non-state military actors. when we look at the greater middle east geography, from yemen, to libya, there are plenty of non-state military actors that cannot compare -- compete against each other. there are many religiously waste, fundamental, non-state military actors, as well as their secular non-state military actors such as ypg. are challenging the nation of states. they are challenging sovereignties, the borders, the
social cohesion of the nation-state in the region. i think the third one is the tragic lives of terrorism and radicalization. all the states in the region are violent extremism. turkey is of course no exception in terms of experiencing the radicalization and ethnic-based radicalization. most people from outside turkey only focus on the religious radicalization, radicalism. by taking into consideration the rise of the isis network in turkey, but when you look at the other cases, especially the pyd in turkey, we the riseso talk about of ethnic radicalization in the context of pkk.
turkey,also not only in in the context of the pkk. we are also facing an institutionalized rise of ethnic radicalization in turkey that affects also social contexts of turkish politics. to last one, with regards thategional politics affect turkey's security and foreign-policy, is the pressure on the borders. with you look at a rock and syria, for example, the syrian situation became very complex. it is divided into five different sections or geographical zones, and many non-state actors are operating in this geography. when you look at iraq, the results are border issues.
in this context, what are turkey's priorities? regional turkey's foreign and security policy, the first one is securing turkey's territory and border security. this is one of the important dimensions. turkey is going to act in accordance with the requirements of the territorial imperative and border security. a have been experience in huge transformation in turkey's border security as well. compared to the letter-ups, we -- very little understanding of border security before the arab uprising, now we have very secure border security ties. we are constructing a wall alongside the syrian border. this will make a huge impact on turkey's foreign-policy, especially between syria and iraq. the second game of turkey is the
increasing of the number of countries that turkey can work together, especially after the new government came to power. toally, of course, in order develop a conference of strategy for turkish foreign-policy, turkey needs to work with its in order to develop new understanding in this have a, we do not only conference of strategy in dealing with terrorism, especially against isis in the region, but we need also a common strategy that we can work together in defeating international terrorism in the context of the middle east. thank you. >> thank you very much. i think we have a little bit more than 15 minutes for the discussion. i will have a set of questions from the audience.
i will be happy if you introduce yourself. thank you very much for a very good panel. as good as the one in the morning. professor guni a question about defensive realism. it makes sense, i think, it makes sense to characterize this -- to terror -- to characterize turkish foreign-policy in those terms, not just as the coup, but since, the return of authoritarian states in the following the very next outcomes -- very mixed outcomes of the arab uprising. uprisings,arab turkey presented itself as a
model for a secular democracy. that was far from being defensive and realist. it was very idealist in terms of what it said for the region as a whole, and of course, the return of those authoritarian states maybe that's not possible, and in fact, i would say, maybe the last speaker would disagree with me, the fact that turkish democracy itself is increasingly authoritarian reflects very much the influence the region has -- has on turkey. i know no one wants to make a connection between turkey and the return of this authoritarian state. at the same time, it seems to me there is enough evidence to prove that the influence between of theand the rest
region is going both ways, and not necessarily in one direction. thank you. >> we will take a couple more questions. >> thank you very much. i just wanted to ask a very specific question, and probably this would be in the first -- thee in the category area of ambassador jeffrey, others may have a comment. why hasn't the u.s. extradited gulen? killseems to be a very your issue, because president erdogan has insisted repeatedly that the evidence that has been sent to the fbi, the justice department, is absolutely solid, showing the grounds for extradition, and yet the american authorities have said repeatedly that the evidence is not convincing at all. in the center, there is quite a mystery here.
i will also get questions in the second round. >> my name is armand. i have a question directed particularly at ambassador jeffrey and the kernel. it seems we have a situation where we have to work with some actors on the ground in syria, which is complicating our relationship with turkey. ultimately, the syrian situation does not seem like an existential threat to us. is it really worth it to pursue these relationships if we risk our relationship with a major nato ally that might be useful right now with our issue with russia and iran coming up, and if so, what are the steps we can take to move towards rebuilding this relationship and putting it back on the right foot? thank you. >> i have a question about the
of iraq for turkish onurity, and specifically the upcoming kurdish referendum in september for independence. ame experts have argued that kurdish state in northern iraq might be accepted by turkey, because it would serve as a buffer against not just the rise asm in iran, but also the spillover of radical sunnis to turkey. -- would anyument of you agree with that argument? >> let's do one minute for each. thank you. >> maybe i can comment back to the lady. sorry, i cannot remember your name, about the situation of turkey, why it has returned to a state of realism.
it was because of the return of authoritarian state systems to the region. which is true, it a certain extent, but this sense also it was at theion, beginning of the arab spring. most of the written articles and books, turkey has been pointed out as a model, because it was successfully combined islam with democracy. inwas a functioning state the middle east. so the way it was sounding, it position was quite different, but the outbreak of arab spring hope of art, including the mind that things were changing.
it was seen that all of a sudden, finally, people demand for better living, democracy, and other things were going to be fulfilled. we havehe contrary, seen that after the counter-revolution that was supported by previous states, we have seen that this paramilitary tutelage system has returned, along with the authoritarian one. we had witnessed civil wars and other parts of the region, like in libya, iraq, syria, yemen. the staterought up region,f the menna which breeds this radicalism and terrorism. in turkey, at the beginning of the outbreak of arab spring, actually stood at the right place in the historical moment,
because it was thought that it can be somehow -- the order of the middle east was kind of and it brought back with people of will. when turkey had sided with the people's will for democratic rights and better living she sought -- she thought a new regional order would come out. this is not been realized. this was the dilemma we have somehownce this region is due to external interactions, most of these historical times, , one regional actor is more powerful than others, as well as the compressed security architecture or system that could stabilize the crisis. and because of where we ended up.
nobody is today talking about people demands about democracy. we are talking about where we are here, the radicalism, isis. tomorrow, if we won't go to dealing with the sources of the conflicts that brought us here as an international committee, we will be just riding on the flames of isis, iraq, syria, elsewhere. we might be facing this radicalism later on. thanks so much. >> i want to start with the most difficult -- extradition. i am getting into legal territory here, as well as government policy, where my knowledge base is weak. hasfirst of all, galen taken the u.s. government to court several times on cases, including his claim to be a permanent resident, that i would've thought would've been
easy to beat down. but his lawyers were very effective beating the u.s. government. the department of justice does not like to lose cases. they have a history of losing them with him. they are going to be very careful. in terms of the specifics, and extradition treaty does not require the same the on a shadow of a doubt determination by an independent judge that you have any normal court case. but there is some special complications to this. defendant can raise questions about the independence of the judicial system in turkey and look, my turkish friends, much as i love the country, there are a lot of questions that can be raised. that is not a hard argument to make an american court. that would also seem to be an easy case to make, but that is going to get into fairly specific questions of, did galen
know about the attempt? to there actually an attempt kill the chief of state, and did brca 1 know about it? -- did erdogan know about it? since 1945, other than the cuban missile crisis, the united states has not engaged in an existential conflict, and i include 9/11. why? because we learned from world war i and world war ii that if you wait until you have an existential threat, it may be too late. we defend for in non-existential situations. maintaining our live system, getting with turkey, and focusing on the bigger danger on iran, enabled by russia, in the middle east, rather than dash.
the problem is, all politics is local. the american public is, ever since 9/11, mesmerized by the threat of terror. as barack obama once said, more people die in their bathtubs than from terrorist attacks in america, but he was the guy in november 2015 the decided he really had to up the pressure on dash. dash isreality is, within weeks,ne if not months. then we're going to be faced with this awful situation in syria and iraq, with the threat from russia and iran. i do not think this agreement in homburg went very far towards solving it. we are going to have to rely on turkey, jordan, israel, our gulf state allies, and the people on the ground, some of whom fight with each other's. saudis and qataris. we are going to have to sort this all out.
reasons,or very good like the united states is opposed to independence, we do not want to break up iraq. look at its oil reserves. two-thirds of saudi arabia's, then syria is. the turkish position, not only from its domestic standpoint, even as regional standpoint and as a trading partner, iraq is a united country is really important for turkey. so the turkish position is understandable and correct. one caveat. and much ofrew up, iraq falls under the control of , on the way lebanon has margins, this might be revisited , not just by turkey, but by washington. i do not think there will ever be an acknowledgment of an independent, sovereign state of kyrgyzstan, but i do think there might -- kurdistan.
america have a joint interest in seeing that it does not arise. so let's wait this one out. i largely associate myself with the ambassador's remarks. on the issue of existential threats. we were so not threatened in existential way but everything we saw at the end of the syrian conflict, we actually hesitated a great deal, even when we thought we knew what should happen there. we did a very good job of avoiding a substantial and categorical commitment to make that happen. that is because it is really complicated and which it happened in syria, all the different players in syria, it's complicated. that can happen with the emergence of an almost ridiculously evil group. when they started cutting off heads, that is when they type our hands on this. the american people are very hard to unite behind foreign-policy problems, but if
you give us a very black-and-white situation, they can unite behind that. the so-called islamic state was so in need of punishment and destruction, that was enough to make many people who do not want us to get involved, get involved. as the ambassador pointed out, is coming to a close, so what we do now is incredibly important. as syria is the biggest single obstacle, and what we have done their on both sides, especially in that region, that is where we really need to look to start improving -- improving it. i think a solution in syria we do not allow outright victory of d and his forces, which would lead to more civilian deaths, that would lead to another round of refugees, another acceleration of iranian control, something that builds on the current zones, reinforces
it, and arranges for a long-term transition of power, that is good for turkey and the u.s.. thepoint i would make about kerigee, i think the strongest buffer against iranian hegemony is a strong iraqi state. there are iraqi nationalists and people who do not want to be a satellite of tehran. abadi is a great example of that. i think a strong, unitary iraqi state with strong respect and support for the region is a far better brake against iranian influence that would be separate states. -- itgree with richard's is all about turkey's position in the role of the u.s. in the middle east.
turkey, perspective of i think they did a great job in terms of de-securitizing northern iraq. framed as aq is part of the geographical zone in iraq. there is no problem in framing iraqi-curtis any region. turkey has a good relationship and turkey is supporting territorial and political unity of the iraqi state. but i do think there are two or three options that will affect turkey's perspective towards the independence, or a referendum of iraq-kurdistan. all these things depend on what kind of iraqi state in the near future we're going to see. krg willle, if the
unilaterally declare their independence, it is going to be a big problem for turkey and other regional countries, especially iran, iraq, and of course the united states. therefore, i do not think they will take these kinds of steps, unilateral independence. one, thecond would turn af iraq kind of failed state in the near future. impact on the big iraqi future in terms of the grg's independence. the third option is much more important, that they can negotiate with the central government. i think this will take also time for grg and iraq as well. >> we will take a couple more questions.
hello. i am from the voice of america. would be about the human rights situation in turkey. everyone from the council of europe to amnesty international, has raised its concern regarding human rights in turkey, especially when it comes to media freedom. turkey is the top jailer of journalists in the world. with all these issues that have been raised regarding human rights and media freedom in turkey, the question is, is the united states turning a blind eye on human rights issues because turkey is a big partner in the region? >> ok. just one quick response on
that. i do see the talking points that go in for all of our senior state department officials before their meetings with turkish counterparts, and also what we see in turkey throughout our ambassador and the publicly -- public messaging of the u.s. government. we have been unequivocal in our believe in support for turkish allies that the quicker they can get a full restoring of what we would call a normal human rights and freedom of the press environment, the better it is for both parties. without going into too much detail, i can tell you it is a part of every senior-level conversation we had. the united states has not in any sense push that to the side. it is part of the very important conversations we had. we have important conversations about common threats, security, economy. this is always near the top of the list, as it is of great concern to us. >> all right.
i would like to thank, for the panelists and the audience for this discussion. i think it was very fruitful. but it seems many of the questions still stand, and we will continue to discuss. thank you very much. >> [applause] >> [crowd chatter] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] sunday on "q&a -- >> speaking up about the it canution of wealth, get you arrested, can get you in so much trouble. >> saudi arabian women rights talksst manal sharif about her book "daring to drive: a saudi woman's awaking." you can put three taxis in
saudi arabia, and women can drive. we wanted to change this by this movement. and the movement is going on. we still campaigning for the right to drive. is us, the right to drive more an act of civil disobedience, because a woman is not supposed to drive. we showed that we are able, capable, and driving, being in the drivers seat of our own destiny i doing this act of civil disobedience. at 8:00r: sunday night eastern on c-span's "q&a." announcer: the white house is facing questions after report this weekend that president trump's oldest son met with a russian lawyer and the 2016 election, who was believed to have damaging information about hillary clinton. after some members of the senate intelligence committee expressed interest in meeting with donald trump, junior, he indicated he would cooperate, saying in a
tweet he would be happy to work with the committee to pass on what he knows. deputy white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders was asked about the meeting, which took place in early june. here is part of the exchange she >> the last couple of days. >> does it concern you? >> i have been on several campaigns and people call and offer information. i know that many of you have received similar calls. jr. took a short meeting and there was no follow-up.
it may makehink sense to look at the democratic national committee coordinated opposition research. this is not an accusation. for anare looking example of a campaign award mating with a foreign country, dnc, no further than the who coordinated with the ukrainian embassy and nobody had a problem with that. the only thing inappropriate about the meeting was the people who leaked the information on the meeting. i would like to add that donald . on this and i am not going to add anything further. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. c-span was created as a public service by american cab