An article penned by The New York Times, ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s meeting with the U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 13, has said the two leaders’ sons-in-law might have a played a key role in generating a line of communication between Ankara and Washington.
Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law and also Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, “have developed an informal, next-generation line of communication” between the two leaders, said the article released on Nov. 12.
Another crucial person in the Erdoğan-Trump relationship is Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, a business partner of Trump and also the son-in-law of Aydın Doğan, a Turkish businessman, according to the newspaper.
Both Erdoğan and Trump have been utilizing all these three men, Albayrak, Kushner and Yalçındağ, as “back channels” to foster the relationship between the two countries, especially during critical times, said the newspaper.
“On the Russian missiles, banking sanctions and other matters, Mr. Erdoğan has deployed both his own son-in-law and Mr. Trump’s Turkish business partner, Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, as emissaries to the administration, sometimes through Mr. Kushner, according to Turkish officials and public records,” it said.
The newspaper said Erdoğan and Trump “appear to favor family or business connections as back channels” partly because they “share a suspicion that the agencies of their own governments may be conspiring against them.”
“Trump is replacing formal relations among nations in several cases with family-to-family relationship, or crony-to-crony relationships,” said Eric S. Edelman, who served as under secretary of defense for policy and United States ambassador to Turkey during the George W. Bush administration, according to the newspaper.
“Certainly Erdoğan would prefer that kind of relationship as he runs a crony capitalist regime of his own,” Edelman further said, according to the newspaper.