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tv   Future of U.S.- Turkey Relations  CSPAN  November 28, 2017 2:02am-3:13am EST

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with a busy week ahead for congress, our live coverage includes the senate banking committee tomorrow considering jerome powell to be the next federal reserve chair. that will be live tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. also tomorrow the senate budget committee reviews its tax reform bill. see that live tomorrow. on wednesday, the senate health committee considers the nomination of president trump's pick to replace tom price.
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live coverage of congress this week on the c-span networks online at cspan.org or with the free c-span radio app. a look at the state of u.s. turkey relations. this discussion also focused on the impact of a turkish iranian gold merchant accused of violating u.s. economic sanctions against iran who is about to stand trial. this is just over an hour. >> good morning. thank you for joining us. i'm pleased to see that some people are still hungry for turkey. that was my only thanksgiving joke. i'll leave it at that.
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today was supposed to be the start of a trial.seemingly disa. why it is such a big deal in turkey. i'm very pleased to have an expert panel with us to help discuss that. i wanted to announce a couple of products. we're lain chi launching a broa initiati initiative.
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it allows you to explore the links. with that, let me go to our panel. we have respected turkish journalist. and nick danforth. can you give us a summary of what the case is all about? what are the allegations in this case. >> sure. thank you for the invitation.
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he got arrested in march 2016 but also was arrested in 2013, december in turkey and became very, very famous in turkey. i think he stayed in jail in turkey about, i don't know, couple months. then he was kind of forgotten in turkey but he still is married to the pop star in turkey. last year march 2016 he got
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arrested in miami. it was a shock to everyone. he's been in jail since then. we know he's under u.s. federal custody right,000. whether he's in hotel or somewhere else, he's under custody. a day before u.s. elections expanded second indictment. the third one when the second person got arrested. he has been still also in jail.
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fourth one came out early september. the most expanded one and included former finance minister. so total of nine people. it's really hit turkey. >> what are they charged with? >> they are six counts and four charges, separate charges. one of them conspiracy against united states. the second one is banking,
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defraudsing u.s. banking. the other one is money laundering. the fourth one is -- will come back to me. there are about 75 years they are asking for. experts say actually if the judge counts every transaction in this money laundering, it could be really, really long which is how these things go. we are looking at maybe more than a century of jail sentence. all this allegations, of course. the prosecutors who launched
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those investigations also dismissed and i think many of them either fled or in jail. we have seen dozens of trials, conference, hearings. we have not so far have a person that we can say. these a allegations. >> sort of the back story of this and the arrest in turkey in 2013, can you tell us about the context for that. >> sure. i think for me the case is very symptommatic because if you are in turkey or if you're in the united states, you are living in different planets in many ways. what you interpret when you see the case or the details of the case will be completely
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different. that is you can't understand the case without understanding the rule of movement and the conflict between them. the superficial, this is an issue about corruption and sanctions. therefore, this is a legal case and has judicial process. i'm not saying that anybody in the u.s. would see this is purely out of politics but it's mainly a legal case. this is not only an issue of manipulating political things. we have to remember that the way that the whole case came out,
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his proxies and family members and close associates. we know there's an economy that's been built up in turkey. we had the cases of al qaeda linked saudi financiers that has been raised. these raids targeted specifically those things. the spervcific things that woul be damaging are very important. we know the prosecutors that were solved beyond any reasonable doubt were affiliated with the movement. this is why it was understand
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stood as a judicial coup. this is the background to how they see it. obviously, then following this we have a, we've had election, referendi. it's much more complicated than that. in in case this means from the perspective when suddenly reza zarrab gets arrested in the united states and indicted, this is not just an ordinary legal procedure in the u.s. this is about a continuation of a coup against him. what we have to understand in what most people may not fully
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internalize is from the supporters perspective, he's not an autonomous actor. i'd suggest to anybody interested in turkish affairs to read a book that has nothing to do with turkey. how conspiracy theory pervades thinking. this is not really relevant for turkey today but it may be in the future. that future has arrived. therefore, we have to whether we agree, disagree, we have to understand that for supporters the glen movement is an american controlled operation and a orchestrated coup against him is an american coup against him.
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this is what they appear very strongly to believe. >> can you talk about how this turkish view of what the case is about has played out in recent months and where it might go from here. >> right now we're in situation where people in turkey, not just people reading the papers but people at high levels of the government and the united states are living in different realities both in regards to this case and the u.s.-turkish relationship. you ever to understand this case is worth looking at both how this case has helped perpetuate the realities and exacerbate and will continue to exacerbate many
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of very deep divides in u.s. turkish relations but also to trace back and show beyond the issue which i'm fwlglad you highlighted how the incipient divergent opinions about turkey's role in the world going back to 2012, 2013 when this case came into being. how this case and the crisis we find ourself in now wasn't itself a result. right from the united states perspective people look at this as a very simple legal matter. how zarrab violated u.s. law and now they are being tried for in u.s. court. to make it against the law for us business wthis was a bilaterl
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trade. up to a point i think it's worth acknowledging where this is coming from. it's a vast sweep of the financial sector does have a unique ability to make our national interest into a matter of universally enforcement law. that only goes so far. the point is worth mentioning and this is where the problem really goes back to how the akp approached this issue this 2012. they may not have agreed with the united states laws. they may not have agreed with the united states sanctions against iran. they made it clear they did have concerns about u.s. sanctions against iran. however at the point when these sanctions were put in place at the point where people in the
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tu turkish banking sector knew these laws were in place, they were aware of the consequences of breaking them. at that point the decision to go ahead with this scheme, the decision amongst member s of th turkish government were taken against the actions were against u.s. laws. that's why they tried to hide the actions. as a conspiracy against turkey. these are the results of actions taken by turkish government officials offered for profit. i'm sure they believed they were doing it for turkey's national interest in a conscious decision
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to violate u.s. laws. they should have realized we're going to have consequences. in addition to the legal issue i'd make a similar point about the broader geo political. turkey has had a long complicated relationship with iran. they have been rivals and neighbors for centuries now. at the time this scheme was taking place, turkey was in a period of considerable tension with iran their very divergent positions in the syrian civil war. people in turkey have pointed out tur ski not the only country to maintain profitable
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relationships. tur skey is not the first count to maintain good relations with oppressive but hydro carbon rich state fp turkey is not alone in doing this. however, what's worth noting is this happened in the context of turkey being a nato ally. this happened in the context of turkey being iran's neighbor. having deep geo political differences with iran. turkey would have had every reason to be terrified of iran's nuclear program. no country would be excited about declaring nuclear weapons when it did not have them. the reason turkey was not as concerned is because it was nato member. because it had nato protect it from any nuclear weapons that e iran might get. in the case that iran did develop nuclear weapons, for it to then take actions that
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undermine nato's or nato countries efforts to stop iran's nuclear program, seems like a pretty deep violation of the spirit of the alliance. >> i think that's a really interesting issue and maybe we can bookends this question of turkey's position between the u.s. and iran and maybe how that shifted because it also gets us to events over the last couple of days. if we can bracket that and talk about the case itself and what it means. a couple of questions. for much of the last year, when turkey has talked about its concerns about u.s. legal issues, it's been talking about asking for the extradition to turkey. it hasn't so much talked about
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the zarrab issue until recently. why is that is the question. is there greater emphasis? is there less concern for zarrab? >> there are two ways to answer that. one is that there's an obsession which is an unable obsession because after all it is very -- it is sdsh he was the person to enabled the movement. those other sunni muslims would support me and they won't bepray
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me. what turned out is there was a power struggle between these two elements, if you will, within this coalition. that struggle has almost destroyed the turkish state. that is quite damaging. at the same time i talk to a very good friend in turkey last week. it's very strange. >> for example in the akp has not been purged. a lot of different state institutions have not been
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purged. what i'm trying to get to is that the maintaining the pressure on the issue is for the domestic political regime stability and necessity by it's also something that united him with his new coalition partners, if you will. even more so after the coup went to a strong tactical alliance. deeply nationalist. they are highly skeptical, if not hostile to the united states and to the west and this focus unites them and i would say also the tensions with united states and the suspicion that the case generates strengthens the power of these neo nationalist forces
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in the turkish government and puts them in the same bed, if you will. >> so, if you want to speculate, do you think that he really wants him back. is it just this tactical political ploy? >> i do believe he wants him back. the reason i do believe that the latest revelation to try to get him through. if you were to believe these aren't claims had not been confirmed yet. at the same time he wants that is the question. in september 21st of 2016 when the president spoke to vice president biden only two months
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after the coup, 65 days. still the trauma was being felt very much in turkey and obviously, apparently about the meeting. sit down and talk about the case. he wanted zarrab. i think he wants it more. >> nick, i guess, a, would you agree with that assessment and why would he want zarrab more. >> this is one of the strange
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things about focus on this case that a lot of people in washington have wondered about there has, it seems like in private meetings, he's opinion very focused on this. very mump wanted zarrab off, wanted the case to go away. many explosive revelations could come out of this. looking from the outside my assumption has been any revelations coming out of this would be easy. very easy to dismiss.
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some people trying to understand why this might be the case. i've pointed to the fact that if the case results, if it proves that turkish banks for involved, there could be heavy fines. this could have damaging impact on the turkish economy. it's still unclear were the case to result in fines. it seems odds that he would try to deal with the risk by making the case go away. i guess this is a long winded way of saying i don't have an answer. >> any insights? >> i think the reason he's
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workinged about this case is speaking, talking to prosecutors and if he's talking to prosecutors which right now every indication shows that he is talking to prosecutors and we don't know yet whether they got a deal but if he's talking to prosecutors that means he has to give up everything. >> by everything. >> everything means names, the people who work with in the sche scheme waiving sanctions on iran. that probably is going to implicate a lot of key officials or key allies.
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that's why he's very much sensitive. t possible he might be talking. maybe dozens of close allies will have a lot of limitations whether inside turkey or outside turkey. sgr he's concerned. i think that's because he see this is as a gate way of things that will lit cloetsser thoem. what's important is to look at this in the context of like nick was saying, he shouldn't be this concerned. maybe he should.
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he's weaker than he looks. if you scratch the surface a little, what appears is first the little dirty secret that i keep talking about is he never had enough people to run the turkish state. he always had to rely on others. first, that was the whole rationale for bringing in the movement. he could base his regime. when he, so to speak, fell out he didn't have fluff people of his own to run state. he had to lean on the nationalists and these type of people to run various state agencies. turkey, in spite of referendum is still not a presidential republic. it will only become a presidential republic after the next election. in the meantime everything he does is illegal.
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every decision he takes. that's the prime minister's perogative to run the government. it's illegal. we also know that when in 2015 he almost lost power. he lost an election and manage ed nullify that election. he sent family members out of country to run it. his behavior suggests that he actually had much more reasons to be concerned about these kind of things and what would appear to be the case. >> so, we've sort of heard, you just told us there might be some sort of deal brewing. i feel like we have been talking about this for a while. there's the strange question of why did this for a while.
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he gets arrested in turkey for basically breaking u.s. laws, released. he comes to miami to take his kids to disney world. it seems like a bit of a gamble. we've been talking about a potential deal for a while. why do you think this is happening now? >> there have been a lot of scenarios and talk and lots of speculations why he came to the u.s. knowingly. i do not believe that scenario. i believe he came to the u.s. not because i don't believe that scenario, i have seen the messages published by the court, he was found having talking to ibanian until the last minute and talking about different ideas and the planning in miami. but it's been 20 months.
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if he came here to get a deal, i think he'll be spending that much time in the jail. the bigger question is -- >> who was actually going on trial starting today? >> yes. i think he's going trial, i think that's for sure because his lawyers have been battling fiercely and he turns out to be a witness against him that would really weaken his defense because basically zabarb will confirm much of the allegations against him if that was the case. >> you raised the question why he came to the u.s. do you have a good answer? >> i think he came to the u.s. because he got away with everything in turkey. he has been reached all his life and he did not get good advice
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from his lawyers. i don't know who hired his lawyers. he came to have fun and told all these allegations and fraud and all the other claims he told that the u.s. -- according to some sources, he also checked his -- he checked his status that he's clear, he got his visa and got on the plane. i think he said there was nothing ventured, there's no danger for him. >> assuming there is a deal, what do you see as the legal consequences? what would happen next? >> lots of unknowns. i've been talking to quite a few experts including financial crimes expert. it looks like if he got deal again he is to give up names and
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information, every single bit of it. he needs to convince the u.s. prosecutors he got really good information. and as stated yesterday, he needs to be qualified substantial assistance either he will help with big amount of money, plus he is going to give intel information of this money, big money, billions of money around the world. not only turkey, but abu dhabi, but people are talk ing about malaysia, uk, germany. there are a lot of players around the world right now very much worried that he might talk. he has already been in jail for 20 months. if he gives good information, according to people who know
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these cases he might get out very soon, in maybe a couple years, depends on what he is going to say. >> so let me ask you about the potential political consequences of a deal. you talked about how it might be seen from the turkish side. love to hear more on that. what about the turkey's side? will it really matter with sanctions busting, i think you said turkey will not be the first country to do business with a corrupt state. the u.s. has done this several times. does the revelation of corruption in turkey really matter for the united states? >> i would give two answers to that. one specific and one more general. the fact this corrupt country was iran i think really will matter. there is even before the most
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recent election in the united states, before trump came into office and afterwards, certainly, one of the approaches turkey has used for the united states is present itself as a potential ally to america confronting iranian regional influence in the middle east. this from the outset might have been a tough sell. turkey's response from the qatar crisis didn't convince anyone turkey would be a tougher line on iran and clearly, turkey wanting a tougher line on iran, it is open to it. were it to be so obvious turkey had been sabotaging our most recent effort to constrain iran, that would make that much more difficult. i also think more broadly, the details of the corruption and extend of the corruption are going to have an impact on the way the united states sees
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turkey as a potential partner. this is something we explore in the paper i encourage everyone to take a look at. corruption and consequences, you can grab a copy at the table out there. one of the things that seems most troubling, the united states problems with turkey has been not cooperating on u.s. policy goals. the united states wants their support on dealing with iran and turkey has refused to cooperate. corruption raises the issue of not turkey voluntarily to cooperate, if turkey becomes too widespread and systematic, turkey can no longer cooperate with the united states on key issues even when the united states and turkey have shared interests. one of the things -- there was lots of frustration in the united states over turkey's initial response to isis, eventually, turkey got on board, recognized the threat of isis and seemed to be making a
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consistent effort to confront isis and had meaningful intelligence cooperation that helped western countries in the fight against isis. to the extent turkey's police force, turkey's judiciary becomes comized by what erdogan is carrying out, that will make this cooperation on shared interests more difficult. that in the long term is something that will have long term consequences for the u.s. >> i think that makes perfect sense. on the other hand, what some -- what erdogan would hear, from what you just said, just because i got rid of your guys in my police and your guys in my prosecutor's offices you're saying we have a problem with corruption. i have people i can trust and people that work for me rather than work for you. we're back to the same situation
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we live in different worlds. that's a bigger problem also because what was really misunderstood, when forced to choose between erdogan and this octopus like movement, faceless, nobody really knows what they want and where they're headed, the overwhelming majority of people in turkey opted for choosing what you see is what you get with erdogan. he's out there. you may like him or dislike him, you know what he is. as a case of the secularist friend of mine i mentioned, suggests. for a lot of turkish public opinion the coup is much more alive than we think. for us, the coup has morphed into being about erdogan's post coup repression and i think for understandable purposes for most people in turkey, this is not what's going on. still about the trauma from the
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coup. if we don't understand that we will have troublen the relation with turkey. the other part of that is the deal, if there is a deal, you will not be able to convince either erdogan or his supporters or most turks this is just a legal procedure in the united states. you will not be able to convince people this is not u.s. policy. whatever president trump says or anybody else says everybody understands this is the united states going against turkey trying to turn erdogan's associate against him as he will be one of the greatest traitors in turkish history and i wouldn't know where he could go after this. i'm not saying we can somehow stop the process of justice. i'm saying we have a train wreck, erdogan, if this happens, he will have to react and take measures, not just any measures, very strong measures against the
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united states. i think, how do we manage this process. i'm not at this point concerned how do we manage the day-to-day bilateral relationship with turkey, how do we manage the long term relationship society so the majority of turks don't see everything the united states does as being something that is scheming against their backs, right in their face. we have home work to do. >> as a quick follow-up, you bring up something fascinating, in a way the extent badly miscalculated in the way they pursued these december corruption trials, almost they bought into a conspiracy erdogan is the first person to promote, namely they thought being on good terms with the united states or u.s. influence would somehow have some impact on kurkish domestic politics, that proved not to be the case. if they thought the united
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states would be the vast people supporting erdogan they grievously miscalculated. >> and in a position being seen as friendly with the united states is danger with turkey. this is where we are. >> i agree with that. we miscalculated very badly for the last few years, which we have seen not as a civil society organization but bim political actor, but in a way i think not what you see what you get, you don't know what you are seeing and have no idea what you are going to get. his story of miscalculations, one miscalculation after another. >> would it be too much, based on this account to try to draw a
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straight line the case in december 2013 against erdogan to where we've ended up today in turkish politics with the failed coup and purges and presidential system coming in the next election, as you laid out? >> all of these things are connected to one another. for erdogan, he has internalized his own discourse about him being the representative or epitomization of turkey, and his power being central for the stability and progress of the country. a lot of turks don't agree with that. at this point, with the whole mess going on in and around turkey, you've seen in the past three years, two years, three years, how the nationalists mobilization in turkey has become extremely powerful.
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if you like erdogan, you have seen his rhetoric, he started talking about erdogan by name, using the term of the turk a concession to the nationalist in his new coalition. if he becomes understood by the vast majority of turks as the representative of this nationalist impulse, which he wasn't, even five years ago, nationalists were against him because he was islamist. he's kept his identity of islamists while purging most real islamists from the government and adopting the nationalist costume. in a way, despite what i said about his weak internal position, that is what he is doing, in a sense by necessity in order to maintain his power. he's channeling something very real in turkey and not just something artificial. >> maybe before we go to questions to the audience we can
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pivot from an issue you raised early on about turkey's position between the u.s. and iran and how it sees itself dealing with its frenemy, one way to put it in the context of u.s. bilateral relations because the turkish-iranian relationship or relationship to interests in the region has been a problem in the u.s.-turkish relationship, right? early on in the syria war turkey was so opposed to assad, to the iranian position it felt betrayed when the u.s. didn't step up and do enough there. now, we're having the pivot away from that we have president erdogan working with iranians and russians to reach a final disposition in syria at a time maybe the u.s. is concerned about trying to push iran out of syria. all that culminated in the telephone call last friday
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between trump and erdogan where the turkish side came out and said president trump has agreed to stop arming the ypg, the syrian kurdish force instrumental finding isis. i think a lot of people in washington including myself said that's impossible. a little while later the white house came out and said, no, that actually seems to be exactly what president trump said. where do you guys see turkish-iranian relationship and where do you see the regional issues playing out in the bilateral relationship between washington? was this conversation friday a turning point? can cooperation be on syria and concerns whatever may come out of this case or concerns that was spelled out? >> no, to start with what he was saying, i do think the anger in turkey, sense of paranoia, sense
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the united states is out to get turkey is real, very deeply felt, felt by erdogan, felt by the circles not part of his constituency. i do think if there is a cat capitalism, breakup in u.s.-turkish relationships, if the united states does lose turkey, it is as a result of this anger, not because iran managed to win turkey over. the suspicion remains real, the suspicion of iran remains real. russia has used a consistent policy with nothing but sticks dealing with turkey. no appeals to turkish national interests, russia has invaded georgia and ukraine within the last decade. we won't lose ukraine to russia. in many cases it's justifiable,
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in many cases completely bizarre, there's a possibility if turkey concludes the united states is resolutely hostile to united states interests, that the united states is behind the coup and support for ypg, i think is a more legitimate cause tore complaint, this will lead to a rupture of u.s.-turkish relations and lead them to a desperate search for allies and they have to make do with russia and iran. i think its first choice stays in nato where it gets the benefits of cooperation with the west. given the deep anger and paranoia, whether that rational prevails remains to be seen. >> on what you just laid out, nick, erdogan has gone to tehran
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and said tehran is my second home he has at times been in an up and down policy and has brother affection for the iranian regime or i need to find somebody other than the united states to work with. what do you think? >> we kraipt a few years ago on a study honored wan's foreign policy. it talks about the oscillation of ideas where he was very much building on this idea we can work jointly with iran. it now seems to be going back out of necessity to a different approach to iran again. there is this thing, me against my brother and my brother against my neighbor.
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who threatens my regime? my hold on power? russia if anything helps. this was the pitch russia was making 10, 15 years ago on the revolutions, not that russia will help anybody, the pitch that the u.s. is out to get you overthrow you personally and i will threaten your regime. that's the pitch right now. the ypg thing, i disagree and think this is a very serious issue and i understand fully by the united states feels it has to support the ypg. on the other hand when the turks say this is controlled by a marxist len onnist group, they are right. if they say, no, we're only
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affecting syria. if you work with marxist lennonist supporters, you are supporting the -- that becomes a problem and we try to finesse it so we can have both. at some point maybe we can. >> do you see the phone call on friday us making a choice? >> i don't think so. maybe we will make another choice in two weeks and the real problem we don't have a strategy. the turks got surprised by the visa issue. enough already. what's the policy. it was an action that may have made sense if it was part of a larger policy or strategy towards turkey.
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we have a lot of things happening and i don't see a larger policy and strategy. if we don't have a real strategy and policy towards turkey, i don't see how this relationship can be normalized in the near future. >> any thoughts on the future of the relationship? >> it's been unpredictable. it's above my pay grade. i try to keep up with daily happenings but very well laid out by experts here. on the one hand this white house we can not figure out what's going on exactly. president trump calls president erdogan and says they're arming to ypg, will stop but the second day from the coalition spokesman says it will continue. it's over my pay grade but we will try to keep up with it.
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>> on that optimistic note we'll open it up to the audience to see if there are questions. we have someone with a microphone just waiting to hand it to you. in the back. >> stanley. it seems to me to look at this as solely a corruption issue it's part of the deterioration going on for some time. mr. danforth mentioned russia won't replace the united states. i'm really not so sure now why you're so confident about that. there have been threats about closing down before. the way the relationship is going, from what i'm reading, i'm seeing articles skeptical of nato membership, and you're nodding. what would be the balance of power here. let us say that turkey blocked our access and things
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deteriorated. let us say we told the europeans we're not holding the refuges here, we're sending them on, build a wall if you want. we would do what in response? >> on russia, that was nick's point. what i would mean by that, if you want somebody to experience what it's like to be friends with russia, good luck. we see everybody around this region, they fall out with the united states over something. they think they can strike a deal with the russians. the russians treat them so badly and abused them so badly they get very much fed up with that quickly. that's what i say. that doesn't mean you're wrong. what we would have lost a lot by
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the time that happens. in that sense, i think you're probably right. there is a scenario this goes very bad and the turks make -- take decisions hard to undo later on. i agree. i share that concern. >> that would be my take. i say the united states has been offering turkey nothing but sticks. look over the negotiations in aleppo. turkey caved in for seemingly helping allow the regime to take back a crucial deal in syria. they apparently gotta sit permission for syria around one place and syria still has forces in another location and ypg have been seemingly eager to invade. russians have given nothing in terms of technology transfers. and at one point wouldn't give
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turkey a good deal on the price for the sake of securing this arrangement. for all these issues, it's very striking when you read turkish papers and say, you have to be worried, you will lose us to russia and the eagerness almost undermined the effectiveness of this ploy. think of the s400 specifically, this is real about protecting erdogan, i think he wants the s 400s so if the nato planes come he can shoot them down. that doesn't mean the turks won't be flying them, doesn't mean they want nato weapons to protect themselves against russia, they want the best of both worlds and it is debatable as you have both suggested and the risk is they end up with the worst of best worlds, alienated
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from the west and dependent on russia. >> what they and the western nationalists are panicking about is this kurdish corridor to the sea. if the russians are allowing and u.s. is not, russians are allowing them to block the corridor, project that could probably never happen anyway, they feel they've gotten something out of very strong national interests out of the russians. >> it's also important to note the russians have not been shy about playing footsy with the kurds at times as another stick against the turks. let me ask you to build off of that question. you said that the russians are very happy to go around the region and offer basically protection for the regimes, especially at a time when you and nick were talking about,
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turkey sees the u.s. conspiring against the erdogan regime. given we're in this situation, how do you fix the relationship? on the one hand should the united states be happen and willing to work with the regime that is mostly concerned about its own survival and wants to be sure to remain in power? how do you convince it that the u.s. is not out to get it, if that's what it takes? >> this is one of the -- as you alluded to, russians played with the kurds when it suited his purposes. he spent a month in moscow, not washington before he was apprehended in kenya. still, it's this united states the turks suspect of conspiracy theory, not the russians, related, one, the ideological
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upbringing offered wan. living in an anti-american conspiracy world not anti-russian conspiracy world. mr. putin is a very skilled poker player with very bad cards. russia is not that stable a "house of cards," if you will. yet, he is with an economy the size of the netherlands, not sure what the latest figures are, the point is he's able to play these cards and seize every part of the geopolitics of this region as a whole and able to play it as a whole and therefore achieve success and press the turks everywhere he needs to. whereas we don't even have policies, we have a bunch of different decisions or processes that are almost out of our control. from that part of the world, where turkey is, you cannot
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comprehend the idea that all these things happened in washington and disconnected to each other. they have to be with the greater mastermind. it can't be incompetent, then it wouldn't be a mastermind. you are trained and programmed to believe there is a mastermind. you have to find a logic. i'm sure the russians are skillfully feeding in lies in the middle of all the intelligence sharing they're feeding to the turks. i go back to what i said, we need to taking a holistic approach to this and how to deal with this and focus not only on the immediate future because erdogan may be there for five years or ten years or he may be gone at some point. we need to figure out how to build a long term relationship with turkey as a country as difficult as that country is
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because even after erdogan, it will not be easy to deal with. that's why i come back to the ipg issue, the costs may outweigh the benefits. in the early '90s, there were implications for the whole of turkey and the united states. if we choose to go down this road with kurds and syria it will have long term implication with every constituency in turkish society. >> as a very brief follow-up, one of the most amazing conspiracy theories i ever came across, when the united states -- when the cia helped turkey capture the leader, this was parts of a plot to strengthen the ppk because the leader was no longer running it well enough and created a greater kurdistan. at the point we are now genuinely supporting the pkk, it
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is hard to imagine how we overcome the amount of suspicion that's created. i'd say this is how we solve this is above my pay grade but that's what you're paying me for. >> i think it's also about erdogan, mostly there have been marginal since -- until 2013. one of the things that they really did very well was that they were very realistic. they had good relations with the eu and became a full member and in relation with the u.s., although there were lots of understand and downs during the 2008, 7, 9, 10, every time always we have seen a crisis in the relations.
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mr. erdogan and his party never went for conspiracy stories until the protests. until about four years now, everything is explained by the conspiracy stories. >> any additional questions? let me ask one final one based on that. what changed may 31st, between 13? why did they change everything so suddenly. >> i think for the first time mr. erdogan thought he might lose his power. i think it was danger. i still remember on the first day of the protests i said i didn't see any danger. i thought it was just right after this syrian protests were
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ongoing. they were supporting syrian uprising. i was also personally very much in favor of the policies in 2013. when the same protests happened in is stall bull, suddenly, next day, i start to hearing, then i had good relations, better relations with the pundits, i start hearing second day these protests somehow planned by the germans and this was erdogan's plot in the making for five years. i think for the first time erdogan saw sizable middle class people are not happy with him.
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i think his personality, in power 11, 12 years, already entrenched in power. those protests happening in 2003, '04, '05 mr. erdogan could have handle very differently. he was very much powerful in the coalition mostly in majority backed mr. erdogan and at the end of the day, he really got away with protests, blaming half of the country in bed with western powers. since then, same song and same rhetoric. it's very very unfortunate for a country that was so close, became very realistic player in the region, explain in the
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regime, we explain every single problem is a plot including the case, i think is very unpredictable because we don't know what xaxa [ phonetic ] will talk about, he will indicate lots of other people and we won't see those and they may go for a while because they're prosecutors and nobody knows from turkey's side who is in the endiameter list.
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>> sounds like this could be a pandora's box to navigate for the near future? is that your assessment? >> yes. >> on that optimistic note we will end for today. thank you for joining us. i invite you to join us on bipartisan policy.org. i look forward to seeing you next time. thank you. >> some coverage to tell you about on c-span3. secretary of state rex tillerson talks about u.s.-europe relations at 11:00 a.m. eastern.
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later at 2:30 eastern, the senate budget committee meets to consider tax reform legislation for oil and drilling gas in the arctic. the measure would then head to the senate floor for debate and to vote requiring only a simple majority. the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals tour. we recently stopped in baton rouge, louisiana, asking folks what's the most important issue in their state? >> the number one issue in my state continues to be flood recovery. in baton rouge we had an historic flood in 2016 and my district was heavily impacted. my citizens in my district are regarding issues of sba loans. the federal government considers those loans to be a duplication of benefits. we're having trouble for those families necessary dollars to
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recover because with the state run program they have to deduct the amount they received through the sba loan. right now, our recovery has been stalled because of this issue. we are working with our congressional delegation but it's a tough issue in our community. >> the most important state issue to me is coastal restoration. our coastline is eroding at a very quick rate. we're losing a football field worth of land per hour. i would like for the state to focus on restoring and replenishing our coastline so future generations can see it. >> i think the most pressing issue we'll face and already working on and have been since the conclusions last year has been our fiscal budget here in louisiana, not uncommon to a lot of other states. ours is a little unique, a good
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bit of what we face in 2018, revenue and form of taxes that will expire in june of 2018. the ability to find the solutions for that, both on the revenue side and expense side what we're working on and hopefully coming wake up solutions before we arrive in 2018. >> voices from the states on c-span. next, a look at the political situation in argentina with a professor at georgetown university, center for latin-american studies. he talks about the history of argentina's political movement and two-party system now being challenged by a third party

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