U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan listens to him.
“The heads of countries last week they called me up, ‘could you call Erdogan?’” Trump said in an interview with Fox News, according to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu agency.
Trump said he had asked those leaders, whom he did not name, why he should be the one to contact Erdoğan, to which they allegedly responded: “‘You’re the only one he’ll listen to. He doesn’t listen to us. You’re the only one’.”
“I don’t like saying this publicly, but it happens to be true. I get along with him and he listens,” Trump said.
This begs the question why Trump has not told Erdoğan to de-escalate tensions with Greece and Cyprus if the Turkish president truly does listen to him.
John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor for Trump, said in his book ‘The Room Where It Happened’ that the relationship between the American president and Erdoğan was a “bromance,” as reported by Greek City Times.
In explaining Trump’s promise to cover up Turkey’s Halkbank breaking sanctions against Iran, Bolton said in his book that “it was as though Trump was trying to show he had as much aribitrary authority as Erdogan, who had said twenty years earlier as mayor of Istanbul, ‘Democracy is like a street. You ride it to the stop you want, and then you get off.’”
“Trump rolled on, claiming he didn’t want anything bad to happen to Erdogan or Turkey, and that he would work very hard on the issue,” Bolton claimed, adding that “nothing good was going to come of this renewed bromance with yet another authoritarian foreign leader.”
With Bolton describing Trump’s relationship with Erdoğan as a “bromance,” and Trump himself admitting that the Turkish leader listens to him, it begs the question why the American president has not demanded that Turkey ends its hostilities with Greece and Cyprus immediately.