Patterico's Pontifications


Report: Trump Praised His Turkish Business Partner in Call With Turkish President

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:03 am

I’ll note the source so you can ignore the piece and rail against me for linking it. Huffington Post: Trump Touted His Turkish Business Partner In A Call With President Erdogan:

When President-elect Donald Trump spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Nov. 9, he mentioned one of his Turkish business partners as a “close friend” and passed on his remarks that he is “your great admirer.”

The twinned Trump Towers bear the president-elect’s name in Istanbul. Dogan Holding, a massive media and real estate conglomerate in Turkey, owns the conjoined buildings and pays the Trump Organization to license the Trump name and brand. It can now rely on that name and brand to be sitting in the Oval Office and singing its praises to President Erdogan.

In his call with the Turkish leader, Trump passed on praise for Erdogan from Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, son-in-law of Dogan Holding owner Aydin Dogan and former president of the Dogan Media Group. His wife, Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindage, sits on the board of Dogan Holding. He’s friends with the Trump family and had worked closely on the Trump Towers project in Istanbul. On election night, he attended Trump’s shocking victory celebration at the New York Hilton in Midtown Manhattan.

Trump’s praise for Mehmet Ali Yalcindag was first reported by Amberin Zaman in the independent Turkish paper Diken. Zaman’s report has since been picked up by other Turkish newspapers and television stations.

I don’t know anything about the independent Turkish paper Diken. If anyone has any further information on that, let me know. Or you can just dismiss it out of hand because it came from the Huffington Post, ignoring the fact that the story originated elsewhere.

If the report is true, it provides a fairly strong answer to those who say: “What is a businessman supposed to do?” Not praising your business partner would be a nice start.

UPDATE: BfC provides a Washington Examiner link that disputes the above account:

Donald Trump did not heap praise on a Turkish business partner in a call with Turkish President Recep Erdogan right after his election, as reported by the Huffington Post, according to the source cited by the news outlet. Instead, the new American president-elect used his Turkish business partner’s praise of Erdogan as a way of buttering up the foreign leader.

That version of the call comes from journalist and Wilson Center fellow Amberin Zaman in an article originally published in the Turkish newspaper Diken. She claims that her reporting was badly twisted by the Huffington Post to make an erroneous claim about Trump’s use of the presidential office to enrich his business dealings.

“HuffingtonPost got it wrong. Trump did not praise b[usiness] partner. He said b[usiness] partner praised Erdogan,” she wrote on Twitter Wednesday night.

. . . .

Cue the Huffington Post civics lecture: “The praise heaped on his Turkish business partner in the call with Erdogan is just the most recent sign of Trump’s near impossible task in avoiding the significant conflicts of interest his global real estate business presents.”

Wrong, said the author of the original scoop. While it is true that Trump referred to Yalcindaq as “my close friend,” argued Zaman, the purpose of those words was to praise Erdogan, not Yalcindaq. And according to her report, Trump laid it on extra thick, saying his favorite daughter Ivanka was also an admirer of the Turkish strongman.

His daughter Ivanka, let us all recall, will take a leading role in running the Trump Organization.

I appreciate the link. As I said in the post, I was seeking more information, and this link provides some. As a debunking of the facts reported in the Huffington Post piece, it is quite good.

As a “debunking” of conflict-of-interests concerns, however, this does not do the trick. The facts as revealed by the Washington Examiner are that Trump: 1) made an unnecessary reference to his business partner in a call with a foreign leader; and 2) made sure that the foreign leader knew that his business partner — and his child, who will be running his business — are admirers of the foreign leader. And have business interests in the foreign leader’s country.

How this clarification dispels any concerns over conflicts of interest is a complete and utter mystery to me. In fact, it just makes it worse — and reinforces for me the belief that Trump will be mixing business and foreign affairs throughout his presidency, and counting on his fans to defend him.

This is banana republic stuff. But I guess it’s what the American people want. Who am I to argue with their infinite wisdom?

Happy Thanksgiving

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am

[The following is a post I wrote in 2006 that I often reprint on Thanksgiving. The message is muted if you’re going through tough times, but if you concentrate on the positive, I think it rings true. My daughter is now sixteen and will be leaving the house too soon. I would give anything to go back to when she was six — but someday, I know I would give anything to come back to today, while she’s still here. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Thanksgiving!]

I’ve discovered a way to bring a new perspective to your life.

To explain it, I have to tell a little story.

Driving home Friday night, I was remembering a time years ago, when my daughter Lauren (now six years old) was in her first year. An old friend of mine was coming to town, and we went with my wife to see a Glen Phillips solo acoustic concert down near San Diego.

We were very excited to see the show. But for some reason, we couldn’t get a babysitter. So we decided to take Lauren. Since it was just an acoustic show, we hoped that she’d sleep peacefully on my lap. If, during the show, she got upset, I would take her out to the car. Thereafter, my wife and I would take turns watching her in the car.

Lauren was asleep when the concert began — but she awoke, crying, five seconds into the first song. It was louder than we had thought it would be. I hurriedly took her to the car, which was parked on the street about half a block away.

Once I had her out there, I never brought her back inside the club. Although part of me wanted to be back inside watching the concert, I was also having fun being with my daughter — at times talking to her when she was awake, and at times watching her sleep. Plus, I wanted to let my wife see the whole concert. I figured there was no reason to interrupt her enjoyment if I was having a perfectly good time.

It wasn’t so much that I preferred to be with my daughter than to watch a concert. I just didn’t mind staying out with her in the car.

Thinking about this the other night, I asked myself: Patrick, if you could go back to that night, right now, and either stay out in the car with Lauren, or be inside and watch the concert — which would you do?

And of course the answer was obvious.

The night it happened, I didn’t mind being in the car with my daughter. But if I could go back now, there’s no question that I would want to be there.

Not only would I stay in the car with her — I would make the most of the experience, realizing that I had a precious chance to see her at that age again. I would try to commit every moment to memory.

And then I realized: some day, years in the future, I might be asking the same question about my life today — this very minute. If you could have this moment back to live over again, what would you do?

The rest of that evening, I pictured myself as having been sent into my body from the future, to relive the moments I was experiencing. And I saw everything differently. I sat on the couch and watched television with my arm around my wife — all the while imagining myself as an old man, transported back in time to relive that moment. And all of a sudden, what otherwise might have seemed like a mundane moment seemed like a privilege. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world, just sitting there with my wife.

I’ve tried the trick all weekend, and it really changes your outlook. Just sitting around with a sleepy child in your arms is great any way you look at it. But if you picture yourself as someone whose child has grown up — if you imagine yourself as an older man, who would give the world to be back in that chair with that child in his arms — it makes you realize how important the moment is. And you appreciate it more.

Like any epiphany, I know that this will pass, to be remembered only from time to time. I hope I remember it often, when routine is wearing on me.

But there are times I actively need to forget it, because this outlook promotes a sort of hedonism. For example, right now, I need to clean the house — but that’s not really what I would choose to do if I were sent here from the future.

Oh, well. I’m going to clean up anyway. I think the guy from the future would understand — sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. I can hear my future self in my head right now. He says to make a nice cup of coffee and put on some music while I do it, and take some breaks to play with the kids. Enjoy the chores as well as the easy and fun moments, I hear him saying. Some day, you’ll miss even the chores. Some day, you’ll miss almost everything about your life the way it is right now.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

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