Qatar Comes to Help of Turkey, Providing $15 Billion Lifeline
ISTANBUL &mdash Turkey won a measure of international help in its increasingly tense standoff with the United States on Wednesday when Qatar provided a comparatively tiny but symbolically essential economic lifeline.
Qatar pledged to invest $15 billion in Turkey soon after a lunch in Ankara, Turkey&rsquos capital, in between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, representatives of each governments said.
The sum is a little fraction of what Turkey would want to shore up its faltering economy or pay its dollar debts, which have grow to be increasing unsustainable following a sharp decline in the Turkish lira.
But the promise of investment was trumpeted by the Turkish news media as a victory for Mr. Erdogan on the same day that Turkey rejected a second legal appeal to release the American pastor Andrew Brunson. Turkey also sharply raised tariffs on American goods on Wednesday, as it pushed back against pressure from the United States.
President Trump imposed 50 percent tariffs on imported Turkish steel final week following talks to release Mr. Brunson broke down, effectively cutting off Turkish steel makers from their largest foreign marketplace.
Qatar&rsquos monetary assistance for Turkey was yet another demonstration of their alliance amid the shifting geopolitical fault lines of the area, in which they have frequently lined up in opposition to the Trump-allied rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Although a few nations like Russia have provided rhetorical assistance for Turkey, Qatar is the 1st to pledge money.
The financial assistance &ldquoconfirms that Qatar continues to promote financial cooperation in between the two nations and we have full self-assurance in the strength of the Turkish economy,&rdquo a spokesman for the Qatari government wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
In June 2017, Turkey was among the 1st countries to side with Qatar following four Arab nations, led by the Saudis and Emiratis, imposed a punishing trade and diplomatic embargo against Qatar.
As most Western nations sought to maintain out of the dispute, Mr. Erdogan sided firmly with Qatar, pledging to send troops to Qatar at a time when Qatari officials feared Saudi military action was imminent.
Mr. Brunson, who had asked a court to cost-free him on overall health grounds, was moved to residence arrest final month right after his initial detention 22 months ago on charges of aiding terrorist groups touched off a diplomatic dispute among the United States and Turkey.
Much more than 20 American citizens, including Mr. Brunson, and 3 Turkish employees of the United States diplomatic mission in Turkey have been detained over the past two years.
The Americans have been prosecuted mainly on terrorism charges under the state of emergency imposed right after a failed coup in July 2016. All but Mr. Brunson are Turkish-Americans, and, beneath Turkish law, they are treated as Turkish citizens, which makes it more difficult for the American authorities to advocate on their behalf.
The Trump administration has pressed hard for the release of Mr. Brunson, an evangelical pastor who has lived in the Turkish coastal city of Izmir for 23 years and ran the Resurrection Church in Izmir. American officials say he is innocent of all charges.
Washington ordered monetary sanctions against the Turkish interior minister and justice minister following Turkey prolonged Mr. Brunson&rsquos detention in July. Days later, the Turkish lira began its precipitous fall, worsened by Mr. Trump&rsquos announcement of added tariffs.
Jeffrey Hovenier, the American chargé d&rsquoaffaires in Turkey, posted on Twitter on Monday that he had visited Mr. Brunson and his wife, Norine, at their property. He named on the Turkish authorities to resolve the situations of the Americans and the 3 consular staff in &ldquoa fair and transparent manner.&rdquo
Most of the detainees were swept up in the government crackdown following the failed coup and are accused of possessing hyperlinks to the movement of Fethullah Gulen, the Islamist preacher who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. He is accused by the Turkish government of instigating the coup try, a charge that he denies.
Turkey has requested Mr. Gulen&rsquos extradition from the United States, but Washington has not moved on the request. Diplomats concur that Mr. Gulen&rsquos followers were amongst the leaders of the coup attempt but say there is little evidence of Mr. Gulen&rsquos involvement that would satisfy a court.
American officials have accused Turkey of detaining the American citizens and consular staff as leverage in the dispute.
Among those in prison is Serkan Golge, 38, a NASA analysis scientist who was vacationing with relatives in Turkey in the summer season of 2016. Mr. Golge was convicted in February of possessing links with a terrorist organization, the Gulen movement, and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
Washington has mentioned that he was convicted with out credible proof, although the Turkish government has defended his trial and sentence. Mr. Golge is attractive. His wife, Kubra, also a Turkish-American, is barred from traveling outside Turkey.
Another Turkish-American couple who work at a private university in western Turkey have been sentenced to ten years in prison, also for hyperlinks to a terrorist organization. The husband, a organization administrator, remains in higher-safety detention at the Sincan prison complicated, where Mr. Brunson spent some of his detention.
The wife, who asked that their names not be published for fear of affecting their situations, has been released pending appeal because she has a small child. If their sentences are upheld by the Supreme Court, she will have to serve her term in prison.
Others who have been prosecuted contain two brothers from Pennsylvania: Ismail Kul, a chemistry professor at Widener University and his brother, Mustafa Kul, a actual-estate agent. They were arrested in August 2016 at their house in Bursa, in northwest Turkey, in the course of a summer season trip. They have been accused of being members of the Gulen movement and of playing a part in the failed coup.
Ismail Kul had lived in the United States because 1994, received a master&rsquos degree and doctorate from Clemson University in South Carolina and owns two patents in the United States, according to his résumé.
At his trial, which is continuing, Mr. Kul admitted realizing Mr. Gulen but exposed the shakiness of the government&rsquos charges when he explained that it was a member of the governing Justice and Development Celebration, Ahmet Aydin, the deputy chairman of Parliament, who first took him to meet the cleric.
&ldquoIn 2010, I met Ahmet Aydin at a culture festival in Philadelphia,&rdquo Mr. Kul told the court, the nationalist every day newspaper Sozcu reported in January. &ldquoI had breakfast with him and his detail,&rdquo he was quoted as saying. &ldquoThey told me that they will see Gulen and suggested that I accompany them. That&rsquos how I met Fethullah Gulen. Soon after that, I visited Gulen four or five occasions.&rdquo
Of the Turkish employees of the American consular mission, Hamza Ulucay, who had worked for 36 years in the American Consulate in Adana, in southeastern Turkey, was detained in February 2017 and indicted on a charge of having contacts with the Gulen movement and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers&rsquo Party, known as the P.K.K. His trial is continuing.
Two other employees of the American Consulate in Istanbul had been also detained and have yet to be indicted. Metin Topuz, who has worked at the mission for the Drug Enforcement Administration for more than 20 years, was arrested on charges equivalent to these against Mr. Ulucay in October.
Days following Mr. Topuz&rsquos arrest, the Istanbul police searched the house of a third employee, Mete Canturk, who has also worked for years at the Istanbul consulate. Mr. Canturk has given that been placed under house arrest.
Published at Thu, 16 Aug 2018 01:57:20 +0000