In Speech at Council on Foreign Relations, Turkey’s President appears ‘Paranoid’ and can’t explain what ISIS got in return for Releasing Hostages

When the left-wing Huffington Post calls Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ‘paranoid’ after the latter’s speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), it’s pretty safe to say it didn’t go well. Even the liberal New York Times went after Erdogan for not aptly explaining what ISIS received in return for releasing 49 Turkish hostages this past weekend:

Turkey announced on Saturday that its intelligence agency had obtained the release of the hostages in a covert operation, without specifying how it had done so.

Asked to explain what the Islamic State, a notoriously ruthless group, had received in return, Mr. Erdogan did not directly answer.

“When we say the word operation, people only think of strikes, bombs, weaponry, but operations are also political, diplomatic, civilian, and they involve discussions, contact,” Mr. Erdogan said through a translator. “I can tell you we have not had any monetary relationship, that’s clear. Now as to the rest, you probably cannot expect us to publicly divulge what intelligence agencies do in their business, but the end result is that 49 diplomatic and consular staff have been freed. Some say maybe there’s been an exchange, you might have an exchange. But it also takes an effort to prepare for such a thing.”

Asked specifically whether Turkey had given the Islamic State people it wanted in exchange for the Turkish hostages, Mr. Erdogan responded: “I just said, such things may be possible. I think what’s important is to be well prepared.”

Back in June, reported that the taking of the 49 hostages in Iraq had all the earmarks of a ruse. When the hostages were released without any information about how it was done, such a scenario is made all the more likely.

Here are a couple of Schlesinger’s observations of Erdogan’s speech:

He says he is cognizant of the true needs of the lands around him, especially in the Middle East, because Turkey was once a part of the Ottoman Empire, but none of his NATO allies have paid any attention to his views on Libya, Egypt, Gaza and Syria.

That is an amazing statement because if there has been one NATO member country that has benefited from the Arab Spring, it’s Turkey. NATO led the charge to remove Gadhafi in Libya; the Obama administration supported the removal of Mubarak and pulled out every diplomatic tool in its tool box to prevent seeing el-Sisi rise to power there; in Gaza, just look at the mainstream media coverage in the recent fighting between Hamas and Israel; and in Syria, Obama has been doing his level best to help facilitate the removal of Assad. For Erdogan to make the charge that he has been ignored is laughable.

Critics have accused him of being anti-Semitic because he broke relations with Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians, but they misconstrue his views — he likes the Israeli people, just not its government.

If Erdogan’s problem is with the Israeli government, why is he fanning the flames of anti-Semitism inside Turkey?

In July, reports surfaced that Jewish citizen airline passengers were intentionally stranded in Turkey. Then again, earlier this month, it was learned that a store owner in Turkey posted a sign in his window that said “Jew Dogs” not welcome.

Earlier this month, warned all Jews in Turkey to leave before the second holocaust starts.

That Erdogan came off as ‘paranoid’ in his speech, according to HuffPo’s Stephen Schlesinger doesn’t do him any favors in this regard either:

The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a problem. Through his battles at home in recent years to ward off criminal investigations of his administration, his insistence on dismissing wiretaps that show he and his aides involved in backroom threats against opponents, his decision to fire or imprison police and judicial officials whom he thinks are influenced by an overseas foe, his willingness to crush demonstrators who oppose his willful rehabbing of downtown Istanbul and his crackdown on journalists, he is getting a reputation as a mistrusting, authoritarian and sometimes paranoid leader — despite his recent election to the top office in his country.

His appearance today before the august Council on Foreign Relations in New York City did nothing to allay those concerns. In a speech that was supposedly aimed at promoting Turkey’s interests, Erdogan came off as a defensive and suspicious man, who sees conspiracies everywhere and feels misunderstood by everybody and thinks he is threatened from all sides.

Erdogan is also a student of Adolf Hitler, even reportedly to the point of carrying around a copy of Mein Kampf in the first grade, and paranoia seems to be a matching characteristic between the two men. In the 1990’s, a comprehensive study into the mind of Hitler revealed this:

Dr. Fritz Redlich, a neurologist and psychiatrist, concludes that though Hitler exhibited many psychiatric symptoms, including extreme paranoia and defenses that “could fill a psychiatry textbook,” he most likely was not truly mentally ill. Hitler’s paranoid delusions, Dr. Redlich writes, “could be viewed as a symptom of mental disorder, but most of the personality functioned more than adequately.” Hitler, he added, “knew what he was doing and he chose to do it with pride and enthusiasm.”

As is so often the case, Godwin’s Law – which states that any online discussion ultimately sees the introduction of Hitler or Nazis introduced by default – does not apply when talking about Turkey or Erdogan.


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