Donald Trump had rumbled and threatened. He said he would economically destroy Turkey if it went too far in its invasion of Northern Syria when attacking the Kurds. And then yesterday Foreign Minister Pompeo and Vice-President Pence travelled to Ankara to speak directly with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This could be seen as the ultimate call to Erdogan to stop. But what came out of it? Yesterday evening a “cease-fire” was announced for 120 hours by Vice President Pence. The Turkish Lira rejoiced and revalued noticeably against the US Dollar.
Turkish Lira considers Erdogan as winner
The Turkish Lira is considered to be the yardstick for all geopolitical events around Turkey and this current conflict. The Turkish Lira is now increasingly likely to emerge stronger from this situation. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also win. Donald Trump will lose politically. But he will be allowed to save his face superficially if he can say at home that he has not abandoned the Kurds. But in reality he let them down.
For those who take a closer look do not officially see any evidence of a ceasefire. According to the agreement between the USA and Turkey, it is a question of Turkey interrupting its attack on the Kurds for 120 hours so that the Kurdish fighters have time to withdraw from the area claimed by Turkey as a security zone. The Kurds should also have agreed to a ceasefire. But they were not asked at all. So the USA is virtually helping the Turks to achieve the desired territorial gain. However, the losses are probably much lower. For the Kurds, the signal of this deal is relatively clear. The USA has superficially saved its face and can act as a peacemaker to the outside world.
Kurds lose, Trump may save his face
And the Kurds, if they don’t leave, have hardly anything to expect from Washington afterwards. They are the losers! Donald Trump can lean back because he has superficially saved his face. No more talking about sanctions against Turkey. It is the winner. It was relatively easy to satisfy the United States. President Erdogan will probably now be able to push through his agenda. Since the US sanctions seem to be off the table for the time being, the Turkish Lira may continue to strengthen.
And this is what is seen since last night. US Dollar vs. Turkish Lira loses from 5.87 to 5.76. Oh yes, and Assad is also a winner. Since the Kurds had asked him for help, he has already moved north with Russian troops. He can get back part of his territory. So the Kurds get between Assad and Erdogan. But back to the yardstick. The chart shows the USD vs. Lira trend since September 20th. The rise in the value of the Lira is clearly visible. Will Donald Trump perhaps change his mind again after these 120 hours and threaten Turkey’s economic destruction again? Anything is possible for him. But for now the Lira is on the upswing, and Erdogan is the winner.