*Ali Gunes is professor of English Literature at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University. He can be reached at ali.gunes@izu.edu.tr.


While reading the book, Why Do People Hate America? (2003) by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies, which I recommend everybody read for the sins America has already committed across the world and continues to do, I came across a New York Times video interview with 2020 US presidential candidate Joe Biden about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as inviting the Turkish opposition to oust him from the office. The video was actually recorded almost eight months ago but it became a hot topic of discussion in Turkey last month, and it keeps occupying both the ruling and opposition parties.

In the interview, Biden says that if he comes to power in the November US presidential election, he would rather replace Erdogan with the opposition leadership. In his interview, he calls Erdogan an “autocrat” and disparages his approach towards the Kurds, and also expresses his support for the opposition leadership getting rid of Erdogan: “What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership.” Biden continues, “He has to pay a price,” and encourages the opposition to defeat Erdogan, saying: “Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process.”

As presidential candidate in a country that is seen by many as favoring the public’s will and self-determination as the ultimate criteria of a democratic system, what Biden said about President Erdogan and Turkish elections is incredible and shocking in the 21st century, and seals the overt and covert intention of American imperialism to design world politics for its neo-colonial interest. But we are no strangers to such insolent, interventionist, hegemonic, and imperial rhetoric of US leaders and other imperial leaders in Europe and elsewhere concerning Turkey and Turkish internal affairs. In his Twitter message of Oct. 7, 2019, for instance, President Donald Trump also used threatening and egoistical language about Turkey: “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over…”

The way Trump wrote and threatened Turkey is not less than what Biden said but the power makes them irrational and laughable. Unfortunately, those leaders, including Trump and Biden, always talk about Western values such as democracy, human rights, peace, independence, freedom, and fair elections, and so on, and they always promise to advance these values in the rest of the world as a standard system to build a livable peaceful world, but they are liars, unreliable, hypocrites, imposters, greedy, and renegade in their actions. They have double identities hiding beneath these showy words and attitudes to further exploit the world and sustain their exploitative policies.

I sincerely implore you to think coolly and use your brain. Don’t be silly. In which country do you think and believe the US and newly imperial powers have implemented their self-styled peace, democracy, human rights, advancement, science, and so on? Is it Afghanistan? Kashmir? Palestine? Iraq? Yemen? Chad? Libya? Mali? Algeria and Tunisia? The list is very long. What they have brought to these lands is chaos, conflict, wars, blood, tears, misery, and exploitation; they committed many sins and crimes — they, as Amin Maalouf states, “looted, massacred, and brought people into subjection, arousing as much resentment as fascination everywhere” so their aim has never been to help people but create a condition and atmosphere of instability and ambiguity to control them effortlessly — they strive to keep on colonizing people’s brains, land, and resources of the former colonized or undeveloped countries with their exploitative intention to feed their insatiable covetousness.

To achieve this purpose, everything is permissible for them. That is, they establish proxy terror groups such the Daesh/ISIS; they help opposition parties or military overthrow democratically elected governments; they impose economic sanctions on certain countries, and they support the dictators who serve their interests as in the Middle East.

Let us come back to Biden’s impertinent talk and imperial ambition. First, Turkish President Erdogan, unlike some impotent leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere, is not easy prey to play with concerning their interest in the region. They would rather see a leader who keeps his head down, and prostrate himself before and smooth the thorny way leading to the concealed exploitation of his country. In return, this feeble leader will retain his power in office. But Erdogan, as James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Ankara, says, “confronts us, flings our contradictions in our faces. He is not trying to become a pal, while leaders who are more authoritarian than him don’t see a problem in posing as if they are good friends of ours. Even [Russian President Vladimir] Putin was acting likewise until recently. That’s why Erdogan is not liked in Washington. I know it is not fair at all.”

What Jeffrey says is also closely linked to the main intention at the back of Biden’s mind. Also, Erdogan strives to make the ordinary people aware of the ghastly imperial intention of the US and European countries in Turkey and elsewhere. Biden’s impudent talk also suggests that Erdogan is not a kind of proxy leader who imperial leaders like Biden could easily use for their interest in the countries or in the region they want to influence and control. Instead of their direct involvement, neo-imperial powers strive to achieve their target through these proxy leaders, personalities, groups, and parties in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. For them, any leader, like President Erdogan, is an obvious obstacle and even a threat to their neo-colonial/imperial aspiration and success when they intend to throw their bonnet over the windmill so that such leaders should be eliminated as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, Biden clearly explains his intention without shame concerning how he would support Erdogan’s opponents and the Kurds in Turkey to get rid of him. For instance, Alexander Light writes that how the US leader and CIA have “interfered with over 81 foreign elections in the past century,” adding: “This number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the US didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile.” Biden also intends to interfere in the upcoming election in Turkey to finish Erdogan. He simply disregards and would rather take away the will of Turkish voters as if Turkish voters were stupid and simply controlled by remote control in the US. Are we such a docile and meek nation to be easily manipulated? It is not sincere or legal to act in such a disgusting way, and suggests the law of the jungle and barbarism to design and organize a country in such a preferred way of imperialism. It is against humanity, against what they most cherish, “human rights” and “democracy,” against the free will and self-determination of a nation. But leaders like Biden are used to practicing such a condescending mind-set and attitudes with the ego that causes them to think that the world belongs to them.

In conclusion, the US, like other neo-imperial countries in Europe, does not want to see a strong country in the Middles East or elsewhere in the general. They think that this strong country like Turkey will impede their imperial, expansionist, and exploitative politics and interest to have access to the richest Arab resources and markets as usual in the Middle East. In this case, therefore, the target is not President Erdogan but Turkey itself. Any Turkish leader, like Erdogan, can be subjected to such a pejorative position and treatment if he or she goes against the interest of the US and other European imperial countries. Thus, by trying to diminish Erdogan’s power, leaders like Biden want to destabilize the strength of Turkey and reduce it to a controllable position so that they will have a free hand in the region.

**Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Anadolu Agency.

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