Turkey threatens Biden, tells US it will 'pay price' for criticism

“The days of ordering Turkey around are over. But if you still think you can, be our guest. You will pay the price.”

A Turkish flag, with the New and the Suleymaniye mosques in the background, flies on a passenger ferry in Istanbul, Turkey, April 11, 2019. (photo credit: MURAD SEZER/REUTERS)
A Turkish flag, with the New and the Suleymaniye mosques in the background, flies on a passenger ferry in Istanbul, Turkey, April 11, 2019.
(photo credit: MURAD SEZER/REUTERS)
Turkey’s leading presidential adviser and top diplomat have slammed US presidential candidate Joe Biden and threatened the US that it will “pay the price” for criticism of Turkey. In a social-media video that upset pro-government Turkish voices, Biden was seen speaking months ago and criticizing Ankara’s ruling regime.
Turkish presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin slammed Biden on August 16, accusing him of ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy.

“The days of ordering Turkey around are over,” he tweeted. “But if you still think you can, be our guest. You will pay the price.”
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also slammed Biden after meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling the Democratic Party candidate ignorant. Speaking about Biden’s comments, Cavusoglu said: “It’s weird that someone this disinformed [sic] wants to run the country.”
The unusual comments for a top diplomat appear designed to support the Trump administration against Biden, part of a wider view at the top levels in Ankara.
The threats to make the US “pay the price” and the attacks on Biden join a long list of Turkish attacks on Western democracies. Turkey’s leading diplomat has called European countries “spoiled children,” and other officials have called various European countries “Nazis” in recent years.
Turkey threatened to “crush” and “kick out to sea” any European country that insulted the Turkish flag. Turkey’s foreign minister also told European countries to “know their place.” By contrast, Turkey has become closely allied with Russia and Iran and never uses such language toward China.
Turkey is the world’s leading jailer of journalists. Turkey’s ruling AK Party has become increasingly aggressive, jailing opposition party members for criticism on social media and shutting down almost all press in Turkey that is not pro-government.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his advisers have sought to gain favor with the Trump administration since 2016. They not only sought out advisers to Trump during 2016, but have also sought to silence protests on US soil. In 2017, when Erdogan visited Washington, Turkish security personnel attacked US protesters and police. The US State Department complained, but the cases were quietly dropped by the US administration.
Turkey then jailed a US pastor, harassed at least one US soldier and jailed a US Embassy employee over the last several years in a pattern of pressure designed to threaten the Trump administration. Since 2017, the White House responded by providing Erdogan with an open invitation to direct phone calls with President Donald Trump, which appears to have been used well since he became the foreign leader with whom Trump has officially spoken with the most since coming into office.
Turkey, however, was concurrently pursuing a policy of aggression against other NATO allies and the US. Ankara acquired S-400s from Russia, has hosted Hamas leaders and provided key Hamas members citizenship. According to an article in the Daily Telegraph last December, Hamas has also planned terrorist attacks on Israel from Turkey.
IN RECENT comments, Ankara appears to have taken sides in the US election.  Cavusoglu met with Pompeo on Sunday. Pompeo flew to the Dominican Republic to meet the Turkish diplomat, an unusual event since the US went to meet Turkey’s officials as opposed to them going to meet the US, showing the relative power relationship in which it appears Turkey orders the US when and where to meet.
For instance, Turkey ordered the US to leave eastern Syria in 2019 and to abandon US partners, and the US complied after Turkish threats to invade Syria if the US did not get out of the way. Turkey also has tried to order the US to intervene in Libya and to agree to its Mediterranean energy deal, which is designed to scupper an Israeli deal with Greece.
On Monday, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, a state-run news agency, noted that Turkey’s leading diplomat – after meeting Pompeo – slammed the US for brokering a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. “Jerusalem is our common cause,” he said, and the Palestinian cause was a “sacred cause” for Turkey. Ankara and Tehran have been the main countries opposing the Israel-UAE peace agreement that the Trump administration helped broker.
Turkey vowed to “liberate al-Aqsa” and Jerusalem from Israeli control in comments last month when Ankara transformed the former Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque in Istanbul. Turkey’s top diplomat said supporting Palestinians is a “Muslim cause,” and the increasingly religious terms Ankara uses to describe the struggle against Israel are now similar to Iran’s threats against Israel.
Turkey has encouraged other Muslim Brotherhood-aligned groups to oppose the UAE deal. Turkey’s ruling party has origins in the Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE is a key state opposing the Brotherhood, so Turkey views this increasingly as a religious conflict across the Middle East, pitting Ankara and Iran against Egypt, Israel, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other states.
The overall posture of Ankara now appears deeply opposed to Biden. But it is not entirely clear if the White House still sides as closely with Ankara as it once did. Key officials in the US State Department, such as former ambassador James Jeffrey, are seen as pro-Ankara. However, when Jeffrey went to Turkey in February and spoke Turkish and mourned recent Turkish casualties as “martyrs,” Ankara then slammed him as not being convincing.
Turkey’s actions include attacking US protesters, detaining a US pastor, jailing a US Consulate employee for eight years, detaining a US soldier, bashing the Trump administration for helping make peace with the UAE, mocking US envoys, threatening to make the US pay a price for criticism, hosting Hamas and working more closely with Russia and Iran.
Ankara appears to have adopted an increasingly hostile agenda when it comes to US relations. Turkey has also threatened to flood Europe with refugees and also sought to prevent NATO agreements in the Baltic states. Ankara also was one of the few powers to embrace Venezuela’s regime despite US sanctions and to praise Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s recent controversial election.