US President Joe Biden offered his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “a much-needed $11-13 billion line of credit” in return for Erdoğan announcing support for Sweden’s bid to join NATO, journalist Seymour Hersh said in an article on his personal blog.
“Biden had to have a victory and Turkey is in acute financial stress,” the Pulitzer winning journalist cited an unnamed US official as saying.
Publicly, the negotiation between Washington and Ankara was over Turkey’s plans to purchase F-16s to modernise its aging air force. In return, Erdoğan walked back his objection to Sweden, which he maintained had been too lenient on anti-terrorism efforts.
Hersh cited a June analysis by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Brad W. Setser that Erdoğan had won re-election in May, but now was forced “to find a way to avoid what appears to be an imminent financial crisis”.
According to Setser, Turkey’s options were selling its gold and heading to default, completely reverse economic policy, or even accept an IMF program. The analyst also said Turkey’s banks were unable to honour their domestic dollar deposits, as they had “lent so much money to the nation’s central bank”.
Concessions and deals between Russia and Turkey were “done openly and in plain sight”, Hersh said. “Duplicity comes much differently in the United States.”