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What We Think Trump Really Said to Erdogan

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A carnival float of Turkish President Erdogan at a parade in Germany. (Photo: Thomas Lohnes /Getty Images)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Washington May 16 to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. Here’s how Clarion Project thinks the conversation went:


Trump:
Tayyip Recep Erdogan! Mind if I call you Tay? It’s just easier.

Erdogan: Um, no…sure, Tay’s fine I guess. Hey this White House is kinda small. The new palace I built back home is much bigger! It’s even bigger than Mar-a-Lago.

Trump: Yeah right. But, I have the biggest everything. Let’s get down to business. NATO. You’re supposed to be on our side and we’re paying you a lot of money for that. No more of this purchasing ISIS oil under the table. I want to see you take the fight to the enemy. Smash ISIS.

Erodgan: Oh, we’re doing that. Making excellent progress, if I do say so. We’re thinking about staying for a while in Syria actually. Gonna set up a couple of bases over there.

Trump: Tay…

Erdogan: Just to help arm and train local forces! Nothing dodgy!

Trump: Nothing to do with obliterating the Kurds?

Erdogan: No, no, no. Absolutely not. No way! But while we’re talking about it, I want you to tell the Kurds to back off – Turkey belongs to the Turks.

Trump: I think you’ve made that very clear Tay. By the way, why were you ranting about the Temple Mount the other day?

Erdogan: The Temple Mount? I think you mean Al-Aqsa.

Trump: Whatever. Jared always calls it the Temple Mount. You’re calling for riots now? You knew I was going there to make a deal! What gives?

Erdogan: I didn’t call for riots. I called for the Muslim world to assemble at Al-Aqsa and show those filthy Je-sorry-Zionists that we will never relinquish our historic holy sites! We will never …

Trump: Calm down, Tay. Just calm down. I’m going there next week, and I’m going to make a deal. I’m going to make a deal. You’ll be happy, the Israelis will be happy, the Palestinians will be happy. It’ll be the best deal you’ve ever seen, believe me.

Erdogan: OK, but can I still be caliph of the Muslim world?

Trump: Caliph, Shmaliph, be whatever you wanna call it, but you know, Tay, you gotta earn it. Nobody likes a guy who gets there by throwing his enemies in jail. Just not manly. Now, about the journalists …

Tay: They’re all traitors! They deserved it! And you’re harboring the worst one of them all….

Trump: Get it through your head, Tay, we’re not giving up Gulen. Forget about it. Next subject.  What’s all this I hear about you getting chummy with the Chinese? What were you doing at the “One Belt, One Road” summit this weekend?

Erdogan: Just a friendly chat about China making some investments in Turkey.

Trump: Let someone else foot the bill. Am I right?

Erdogan: Doesn’t hurt. Just like NATO, ha, ha. I mean, sure, we’re going to be pulling our weight.

Trump: Make sure you do that. I’m going to be watching you, Tay.  

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Elliot Friedland

Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.