By: İLNUR ÇEVIK*
This columnist watched on the sidelines as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden put on a Hollywood act in Ankara during his one-day visit. Yet, what he did in Ankara would hardly earn him an Oscar. In short, his performance was rather poor.
He flashed smiles all day long and pretended to embrace the Turkish people.
He said he was “so sorry” that his visit came over a month after the failed coup attempt.
He also said he wished Fethullah Gülen, the mastermind of the failed coup who lives in Pennsylvania, lived in another country so that Turkey and the U.S. would not have had to experience such an ugly extradition brawl.
He saw for himself how the rebel fighter jets bombed and damaged the Parliament building on the night of July 15.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım repeated the calls for the extradition of Gülen. Erdoğan also claimed that Gülen continues to lead and organize his terrorist gang from the U.S. and that he should be put under house arrest pending the procedures of his extradition.
Biden, full of sympathy and remorse, told our leaders that the U.S. is a country ruled by law and that the legal procedures will take their course and that he cannot deliver Gülen right at this moment.
Yes, of course, when the U.S. was clandestinely kidnapping and arresting al-Qaida suspects all around the world and putting them into the hell hole called Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. was following the rule of law, international law and even American laws…
The law in the U.S. is, of course, as supreme as the policemen that kill innocent law-abiding black Americans in the streets and get away with it.
So it seems Biden came to Ankara, listened to us with great “sympathy” and then told us what would not happen and flew home.
But Ankara also had a surprise for the U.S. vice president. The Turkish military incursion into northern Syria to push DAESH away from our borders and to push the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants out of Manbij, on the same day that Biden arrived in Ankara, was a clear message to Washington. Turkey had been telling the U.S. that it was unhappy with its alliance with the PYD terrorists, who are an extension of the PKK, which is recognized by Washington as a terrorist organization. Turkey had been telling the U.S. it would not allow PYD militants to cross west of the Euphrates in northern Syria but the Americans promised that once Manbij was cleared of DAESH terrorists, the Kurds would go back to the east of the Euphrates.
However, Turkey realized that the Kurds were in Manbij to stay and had no intention of withdrawing to the east of the Euphrates and that the U.S. would not keep its promise. So Ankara took matters into its own hands and will now clear our neighboring areas of DAESH and will push the PYD out of Manbij and into the east of the Euphrates. So Biden went home with a bitter smile.
*İLNUR ÇEVIK is a Turkish columnist. He writes for Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper.
(Published in Daily Sabah on Friday, August 26, 2016)