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04/18/2019

Donald Trump: Mister Turmoil himself

Donald Trump: Mister Turmoil himself

Since he was elected president of the United States in 2016, Donald Trump has created endless problems on the international scene.

Does being a world superpower mean trampling the rest of the world? In Trump’s case, this certainly seems to be the case. President Trump, Mr. Turmoil himself, has continuously caused issues both at home and abroad. One gets the feeling that his entire purpose on earth is drumming up trouble.

Everyone is familiar with Trump’s policy on Turkey, which Trump seems to attack at every turn. While Trump muddies the water around the world, he seems to have it in for Turkey in particular. Without putting much thought into it, one can easily name half a dozen countries where Trump has heightened tension: Iran, China, Venezuela, Russia… the list is extensive.

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Here are some of the more heinous examples.

GOLAN HEIGHTS DECISION

Trump’s decision to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel was a particularly crafty trick, one which sparked outrage across the entire world community.

EU

The EU’s press service issued a statement in which it stressed that Brussels does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories in the Golan which it has occupied since 1967. The UN has also made clear that the area’s status has not changed as a result of the decision.

UN

The Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said the international body’s decision on the issue stands, and the position of the UN regarding these territories is already indicated in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Resolution 497, adopted by the UN Security Council in 1981, opposes the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights. The text of the resolution emphasizes that the Israeli decision on the application of its legislation, justice and administration in the territory of the Golan Heights does not have legal grounds or conform to the standards of international law.

GREAT BRITAIN

The British Foreign Ministry announced that it considers the Golan Heights as a territory occupied by Israel and does not plan to recognize the Israeli annexation: “In accordance with international law, including the UN Charter, a ban is imposed on the annexation of the territory with the use of force.”

RUSSIA

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, in commenting on Trump’s decision, stressed that it contradicts international law and could increase tensions in the Middle East.

BLOCKING VISAS

Donald Trump signed a decree imposing an entry ban into the US for citizens of seven states with a predominantly Muslim populations. He completely stopped accepting refugees from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Syria for 90 days.

MEXICAN BORDER WALL CRISIS

Trump, known since the time of his election campaign to be a harsh opponent of illegal immigration, did not confine himself to a visa ban. He also announced his intention to build a wall on the US-Mexican border, demanding the costs of its construction be paid by Mexico. Trump’s preparation for the implementation of this plan caused serious discontent in Mexico. The then president of this country, Peña Nieto, stated that his country “does not believe in any walls,” and condemned the United States over the hostile statements.

CHAOS ACROSS THE US

In many cities in the United States, protests opposing Trump’s actions against migrants took place. The Prosecutor General of 16 states issued a joint statement condemning Trump’s visa ban. The decision was also criticized by executive directors of leading companies such as Apple, Netflix, Google and Twitter.

CONSEQUENCES OF DECISION ON JERUSALEM: 60 KILLED, HUNDREDS OF WOUNDED

A year ago, Trump signed a decree transferring the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s decision was met with protests in many countries around the world. During the protests in Palestine, 60 Palestinians were killed as a result of Israeli troops. Hundreds of people were injured.

TURKEY

President Erdogan, criticizing Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, said: “Trump, do you have such powers? Think you’re making a real estate deal? See how our ancestors ruled Jerusalem and what today’s tyrants are doing.”

FRANCE

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern to Trump over Washington’s intention to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

RUSSIA

Russia, in turn, pointed to the threat of escalating tension in the region with the decision.

IRAN

The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, stressed that US aggression against Palestine would not remain unanswered, and strongly condemned Trump’s initiative.

PROVOCATION AGAINST FRANCE

Commenting on the “Yellow vests” protests in Paris, Trump referred to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which the United States hadn’t signed, saying: “The «Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris».

Trump stressed that the protests and clashes swept the whole of France, and added: “People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment.”

FRANCE: DON’T INTERFERE IN OUR AFFAIRS

In response to Trump’s words, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Mr. Trump should not meddle in French affairs.

BRITISH JUSTICE MINISTER’S MESSAGE TO TRUMP

During his visit to the UK, Trump criticized the Brexit negotiation process and said that “Boris Johnson will be a smart premier,” to London’s outrage. British Justice Minister Sam Gyimah tweeted, telling the American president: “Where are your manners, Mr. President?”

WORLD CRITICISM OVER TRUMP’S DECISIONS ON IRAN

Trump’s statement about the decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran caused sharp criticism in many countries around the world. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called it a matter of serious concern. He stressed that the agreement had been a major success in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and that the document contributed to ensuring security and peace in the region and in the world as a whole.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also called on all parties to work out a political decision on relations with Iran. A spokeswoman for Stoltenberg, Oana Lungescu, said that after the US’s withdrawal from the agreement, a policy of keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons will be of particular importance.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini also criticized Trump’s decision and stressed the EU’s determination to continue to follow the nuclear agreement. She also noted that the agreement serves the task of preventing Iran’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons.

In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was deeply disappointed by Trump’s decision, stressing that the step violated the norms of international law.

Germany, Great Britain and France

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron made a joint statement in connection with the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran. The text of the statement emphasized “concerns over Trump’s decision” and noted the “significance of this agreement for ensuring European security.” The parties expressed their intention to continue to follow the provisions of the agreement regardless.

Former US president Barack Obama, under whom the deal was signed, also criticized Trump’s move, calling it “a serious mistake with tangible consequences.”

TURKEY

A statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on this issue expressed deep concern over the US unilaterally withdrawing from the agreement and called for another resolution. The Ministry referred to the statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency which noted that Iran had fulfilled the provisions stipulated by the agreement and stressed that the United States unilateral withdrawal from the treaty is an ill-considered and erroneous step.”

“DO NOT TAKE THIS MAN SERIOUSLY”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, commenting on Trump’s words that Iran does not follow the spirit of the nuclear agreement, said not to take his words too seriously.

RESPONSE TO THE PLAN TO WITHDRAW FROM SYRIA

President Trump’s announcement on Twitter that ISIS had been defeated and that US troops would be withdrawn from Syria caused a mixed reaction around the world.

While Russia reacted positively, the British Foreign Office and some US senators criticized Trump’s move. Israel, in turn, said they need to assess the situation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked over the phone with the US President and the head of the State Department, were Washington said it had other methods of keeping Syria in its sphere of influence.

STATEMENT ABOUT DAESH TERRORISTS MADE EU ANGRY

Trump called on European countries to take and bring to justice more than 800 ISIS fighters who were said to have been captured by US troops and their allies in Syria. Trump wrote on Twitter that if the EU didn’t take action, the US will have to let them go, allowing them to engage in further terrorist activities across Europe.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn asserted that a logical solution could only be reached through discussion. “We should not send a tweet randomly,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told a press conference Trump’s demand would be “difficult to implement.”

“It is certainly not as easy as they think in America,” Maas said, adding that the former ISIS members could only be allowed into the country if it could be ensured that they were taken into custody immediately.

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl stressed that she sees no reason for Trump’s demand since the release of foreign terrorists detained in Syria would not benefit anyone.

THREATS AGAINST RUSSIA

After a meeting with the wife of self-declared Venezuelan President Juan Guaido, Trump said that he was considering all options in order to achieve the withdrawal of Russian troops from Venezuela.

US WITHDRAWS FROM INF Treaty

Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) drew criticism from Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who regarded it as “an extremely dangerous step.”

In addition to Russia, Trump’s ally, Germany, also opposed the decision. The head of the German Foreign Ministry, Heiko Maas, stressed the need to assess the impact that Washington’s move would have on Europe and the disarmament process.

Trump linked the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty with “long-term violations of the agreement on the part of Russia.” Russian President Vladimir Putin reciprocally announced his country’s withdrawal from the INF treaty.

TRADE WAR WITH CHINA AND TURKEY

China’s Deputy Foreign Minister, in response to Trump’s decision to impose additional trade duties on imports of steel and aluminum, said that China does not want a trade war with the United States, but will be forced to give a symmetrical answer if the country’s interests are targeted.

Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, criticizing Trump’s decision to impose additional duties on Turkey and China, said that this step will have serious consequences for world trade. “We want Turkey to be a stable and democratic country, and good economic relations contribute to that,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the EU should oppose the imposition of sanctions by America against Turkey, and pointed out the need for Europe to protect its interests from the actions of the American administration. “We must protect our own interests. It is not only the 80 million Germans [we are talking about], it is Europe and the 500 million people [living there],” he said.

PROVOCATIONS AGAINST SOUTH KOREA

In response to Seoul’s intention to lift sanctions against North Korea, Trump responded that without US approval, they will not do anything, which displeased the South Korean authorities. South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated instead of approval it should be consultation or agreement. Moon Jae-in also stressed that Seoul does not require US approval in order to lift sanctions against North Korea, and said that South Korea is an independent and sovereign state.

NORTH KOREA: OUR POSITION IS UNCHANGEABLE

In a statement made after the Vietnam summit, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said that the negotiations had ended in vain, suggesting that starting new negotiations with the United States would now be very difficult and that his country’s position would not change.

THE PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA: TRUMP UNDERMINES STABILITY IN ASIA

According to The Straits Times, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, while visiting New York for a UN General Assembly session, criticized Trump’s policy, saying, that Trump has a very capricious character, and it is extremely difficult to deal with.

Commenting on the US-China trade war, Mahathir said that Trump’s policy undermines stability in Asia and confidence in the US and that he thinks that the United States will end up suffering more than China.

CRITICISM OF IRAN

Trump said that Iranian leadership would suffer serious losses due to US sanctions.“When I came into here, it was a question of when would they take over the Middle East,” Trump said on August 30 in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News, “Now it’s a question of will they survive. It’s a big difference in one and a half years.”

In response to this statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “Bipolar demonization of Iran as either ‘taking over Mideast’ or ‘fighting for survival’ indicates U.S. cognitive disorder & demagoguery unleashed by the collapse of America’s moral compass”

Iran will continue to play an “active, stable, responsible, and powerful” role in the region, he added.

VENEZUELA POLICY DIVIDED THE WORLD INTO TWO CAMPS

Trump’s decision to recognize the Venezuelan National Parliament’s President Juan Guaido as “interim president” of the country divided the world into two camps. EU countries and US-backed countries in South America supported Trump’s decision.

At the same time, Turkey was one of the first to protest against the “American coup” in Venezuela and supported the country’s legitimate elected president, Nicolas Maduro. Russia, Iran, China, Mexico, Bolivia and Cuba also expressed support for Maduro.

“THEY DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO US”

The US administration has decided to stop providing financial assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras under the pretext of assisting these countries in regard to illegal migrants.

In a statement, Trump blamed Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala for “preparing migrant convoys” and said: “We were giving them $500 million. We were paying them tremendous amounts of money and we’re not paying them anymore because they haven’t done a thing for us.”

 
Nurettin Kurt
Journalist, specialist in criminology, recipient of the EU Prize for Journalism and Turkish Journalists' Association’s press freedom award , and the author of “Journalist-wolf in the stressful triangle - Incident-police proceedings-lawsuit”,  Sedat Simavi Journalism Award - 2007 (Turkey) 32 yıllık gazeteci, polis ve adliye uzmanı, Sedat Simavi Gazetecilik Ödülü başta olmak üzere, 2011 ve 2017 TGC Başarı ödülü, Avrupa Birliği Araştırmacı Gazetecilik Ödülü, iki kez Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği haber ödülü, yedi kez Barış Selçuk Gazetecilik Ödülü ile birlikte çeşitli Sivil Toplum Kuruluşları tarafından ödüle layık görülmüştür, ‘Olay-Polis-Adliye- Gerilim Üçgeninde Kurt Gazeteci’ isimli kitabın yazarıdır

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