By “Ahmad Sulaiman Al-Ibrahim” – a researcher on Turkish affairs
There is no doubt that we can’t expect a formal meeting between an official of the American administration and Erdogan who visited Washington in January 2002 without assuming any official position. Especially that shortly after this visit,Boland Ajawid, the Turkish Prime Minister,is going to officially visit the United States.
For this reason, Byford and his wife Gadiesh, Janid Zabso’s friends, arranged an informal meeting for Erdogan with Richard Perle who operates on behalf of the American administration and he is known for his status among the Hawk’sWing.
On Sunday morning, the day after their arrival to Washington, Erdogan, Janid Zabso, Torhan Tshomaz and Omar Chilik split into two groups. So, while Torhan Tshomaz and Omar Chilik went on a tour in Washington on that Sunday morning, Erdogan and Zabso headed with the man in boots to Richard Perle’s three stories house located in Chevy Chase Avenueon the borders between Washington and Maryland.
Richard Perle, a schemer of the American war on Iraq, explained to Erdogan, during this secret meeting, the US perspective of the Middle East, and hestressed the necessity of overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
“The breakfast and meeting took a very long time (…). In this secret meeting, Perle tried to know Erdogan and his party’s view of the United States, their thoughts regarding the EU, how their relationship will be with The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and the major capitals in the United States in case they assumed power, their views regarding Cyprus and Iraq, their opinion about Kurdsand other minorities, and Turkey’s view of Islam.”
After this bombardment of questions, Erdogan said during the meeting that they support the United States regarding the subject of Iraq. Moreover, he told Perle about himself and provided information about Justice and Development Party presided by him.”Perle also explained that if Justice and Development Party assumed power, Turkey will serve as an example of moderate Islam for the countries conflicting with the United States. He highlighted that President Bush’s administration attached a great importance to this subject.”
The relationships that reached an advanced level in this first visit will continue, and Erdogan, who failed to become a Member of Parliament in Turkey’s general election on the 3rd of November 2002, will be invited to Washington. Similarly, Erdogan didn’t assume any formal position in this second visit except for being the president of Justice and Development Party.
This time, Grenville Byford, Janid Zabso’sfriend from Davos meetings, showed up again and arranged a meeting for Erdogan with the American President George W Bush, on the basis that he is the president of Justice and Development Party.
As for those who delivered the invitation from President Bush to Ankara on the 3rd of December 2002, they were Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense at the time and one of the most prominent figures among the neoconservatives (he was appointed by Bush as the president of the World Bank and he remained in that position until 2007), in addition to Marc Grossman, the American Ambassador in Ankara 1994-1997.