“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” — Viktor Frankl
While interviewing interesting people, I find they are personally driven, highly motivated, almost obsessed with the desire to know themselves and solidify their purpose in life; the realization of which brings them happiness and a sense of belonging and contributing. They don’t seek to be idolized or placed on highly respected pedestals of adulation, but the opportunity to respect themselves throughout their lives; compassionate, caring, involved, producing.
One of the most knowledgeable and interesting men I’ve ever had the privilege to interview is Erbil Gunasti. He is most definitely immersed in life; An author, TV Producer, political authority, confidant of presidents and celebrities, and an insider to the President Trump administration. I know you’ll find his insight to be a valued look at the world.
RB ~ You have such a duel life behind you. Diverse on one hand with so many intertwined activities and interests yet focused on the other with your love and appreciation of Turkey, of which you remain a dual citizen with the US. Where did life begin for Erbil and how, through your family and education, did you develop such diverse interests and involvements?
BG ~ My parents are a good reason for my appreciation for my heritage. My parents are 86 and 90 today. They got married in 1956. That makes 64 years. They cherished their lives in where we were all born in Tarsus, Turkey, where St. Paul of Tarsus came from. We also cherished our lives in Istanbul, one of the seven cities in the world with seven hills, which also means there is lots of history, culture and cosmopolitan lifestyle there that enriches one’s life like London, Barcelona, Milan, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Paris, Moscow or New York would.
So, I am lucky to be associated with a biblical and historical city in the world. Not many will even have a chance to visit and experience them while I lived there for many years. That in itself gave me so much advantage in life, coupled with the family life that my parents provided. Don’t forget, the molding years of a child is his or her first seven years from mother’s milk to whatever they teach the kids. So, I was lucky.
Attending private school at 10 years old with a Western connection is another privilege and luck. First of all, one’s family must have funds because they are expensive. Two, parents must have the vision to send kids to such private schools. Three, kids have to be bright enough to beat the competition. After all, these schools only admit a handful of candidates among few thousand brightest of the brightest.
That school gave me the opportunity to be fluent in three languages. With that, I immersed myself in cultures. After that, I attended a summer school in France. Then, for about half a year, I had more schooling in London to improve my English. My last stop was in New York before returning home as a high school student. But I did not. I told my father that I will continue my life in America. Mind you, I am only a teenager and I am on vacation.
So, I personally decided that America is good for me and I can compete and excel there and cherish what it offers to a person. So, diversity of interests and involvements did not always come by luck but also decisions I made, as well as my parents made.
As for writing GameChanger, since I am not only a dual citizen because I cherish the heritage where I was born but also, I cherish my life in America ever since I came face to face as a teenager, I know both countries well. I understand the importance of both countries. And I found out that neither in California nor in Wash DC no one knows what they must before making important decisions affecting hundreds of millions of people. Without my GameChanger, high paying jobs in America will be lost and America will no longer remain the sole superpower in the world. That is how tragic, but also how important to note.
RB ~ Speaking of education, yours has taken you through a French catholic boarding school in Istanbul to prestigious universities here in the states. Has the international flavor of this diversity added to your understanding and appreciation of the cultures, problems, and potential of America’s position in the world with these other countries?
BG ~ Of course it did. I learned history in three cultures.
In Turkey, I learned history dating back to 2000 years but also 5000 years. Then I learned in the French school system, history of Europe alongside Western culture, habits, behaviors, norms, traditions. Then in America, I took some history classes alongside political science classes but also showed interest in music, art, literature, and philosophy.
For some reason, I always understood that unless someone understands history and culture, decisions they will make will never be right. And if these decisions were to involve masses, then calamity follows next. And history and culture come only through learning. For that must know how to speak, read and write different languages. Having a specific expertise which America is built on is most important as well, of course. That is the sole reason why America is the only country that went to the moon in the 20th century. But lacking history and culture are two very important vulnerabilities that always come back and hunt the country and civilization.
Globalists are a good example how they exploited these vulnerabilities in America. They came with their insidious plans and took advantage of the unsuspecting Americans that did not pay much attention to history or culture. As a result, they reeducated most everybody in America in the past 24 years from 1992 and 2016. Look where America is today: in disarray!
That is also why I came up with the idea to write the GameChanger so that I can fill the vacuum for the audience in America. I understood well that Americans needed to know and understand what Turkey is or what President Erdogan was representing. After all, the country has been a staunch ally of America throughout the Cold War, playing an important role in the southern flank. Not paying attention to the 2000-year history of Turks and the socio-economic, religious and military culture were not the way to make decisions.
Unfortunately, come 2016, when Donald J. Trump was in the White House, no one still did not have any clue about what I wrote in that book that was published in January 2020. Hence, with GameChanger, I wanted to correct something that only I can do because no other book on Turkey or Erdogan in the market today in America writes what I did. One reason for that, they are written by liberal-minded authors or influences that are in the control of the Globalists. It is easy to imagine how history and culture could have been distorted in those books too on top of everything. And they are.
RB ~ It’s unique to have such access and connection with so many in high profile positions. What drove you to accomplish this and how did you develop the network of such politically and socially connected individuals you’re known for and have maintained such a reputable reputation with?
BG ~ Having access and connection comes with a background. If I did not speak numerous languages or was not familiar with a variety of cultures, religions, foods, music, lifestyles, history, philosophy etc., I would be a very boring person, and no one would want to talk with me. So, I benefited having something to offer to people that I came across.
After that, you have to deliver something professionally to those you come across with. I did that too when I was at the United Nations serving for the government of Turkey, dealing with the members of media as a press officer. I did my job and I did it well. So, I gained a good reputation.
And when I met Daphne Barak, I cherished her personality and professionalism. From there on there were new sets of professionals and others to come across and win them as well. So, I did well in that challenge too. I gained another level of reputation among the entertainment/fashion/athletic communities albeit in New York, LA, London, Paris or Milan.
All the while, we continued to show interest with heads of state and visited them regularly for professional reasons. On that path, one meets other people that are around these heads of state, like they’re around the world’s very famous people in other fields.
Of course, you are right. At the end, what matters is reputation, to keep all these people that one come across in the world. Thank God we left a good impression with most of them because not everybody we met were good people. The world is full of vicious and malicious and evil too.
In that respect, GameChanger is written with that vigor, with an anger towards those who have taken advantage of the unsuspecting Americans and fed all kinds of lies with all kinds of published work and media news that is disseminated to reeducate America. That is why, when one reads GameChanger, one sees that certain taboos are broken because in the GameChanger, realities are brought to light with frankness and bluntness and directness. The way it is supposed to be in America, according to common sense.
RB ~ We understand that Presidents and gov’t officials naturally develop an appreciation and respect for each other based on their positions. What is there between Trump and Erdogan that seems to draw them to a closer understanding and relationship for their countries and mutual agendas?
BG ~ They are two nationalistic and pious people. But they are also loyal and brave people. They also have above-average IQs. Then they are hard workers. Plus, they appreciate family and patriotic values. After that they are tough negotiators, competitors and they respect strength. Finally, they are realistic, and they appreciate and sense a smart person when they see one. These are more than enough similarities for them to work together.
As I wrote in the GameChanger, these two leaders come from such opposite end of the spectrum in life with their personal and professional experiences, cultures, values, languages, religion, spirituality, way of life, the family structure that there is no way they can be a good match to one another. Imagine one likes American football. The other likes soccer. Neither cares much about what the other likes or knows.
Yet today, these two men are so close to one another like no one can believe. Why? I say it in my book: It is divine intervention. Each one commands the attention of a billion people in the world today. Trump as the president of the sole superpower in the world. Erdogan as the unofficial leader of the Muslim ummah (community). Together they are to build the new world order.
I argue in my book, again, that America cannot build a balance of power against China without Turkey siding with America because Turkey makes up the third leg of two other smaller balance of powers in two important parts of the world. One in Europe, over there, it is between Russia, the European Union, and Turkey. The other is in the Middle East. It is between Persians, Arabs, and Turks. If either one of the two “balance of powers” is not in place, that means, America will have a soft belly that will surely be exploited by the rising China. As a result, China will dominate the world not needing to establish any global balance of power against America.
Simply put, Trump understands this equation. Erdogan too. That is why they know they have to walk the walk together for the sake of the planet.
RB ~ You spent many years as press secretary to 8 Turkish Prime Ministers, including Recep Erdogan, who now sits as President of Turkey. What brought you into that position and fueled your dedicated interest in this part of the world?
BG ~ I took the job that was offered to me, reluctantly, at first. I must add because working as a government official is not the greatest job in the world other than the honor it bestows on someone for doing a public service.
Yet the role that I got at the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations was not chopped liver either. Every cabinet member in the country probably had a cousin and then someone else for the job that I eventually took. Then there was 7 other prime minister, over 15 years when I worked there, each one had an equal number of cabinet members with candidates eyeing the job that I had. So, I was able to get rid of hundreds of powerful personalities trying to get rid of me from the perch that I was at. Well… they could not.
It is not important how I got there; it is rather important to note that I stayed there for 15 years. That is actually the most important portion of it. I experienced the Cyprus crisis, Nagorno Karabagh war, Rwanda massacre, War in the Balkans, Kuwait invasion and Iraq war. Each one is a lifetime experience. Each one is a book. Each one is a movie. Millions died. I witnessed how diplomats did their job. I also witnessed how diplomats enjoyed their lives when people were perishing. Human beings perished and we were at the comfort of America.
Involving with politics or governments or prime ministers and presidents requires that one must care about other human beings because the high perch that is bestowed on you by the grace of God one can save lives even though that is not the definition of the job one is doing. Yet, I did my share of that type of humanitarian or charitable work I care less to talk about in detail.
In other words, I did not come to the job with a plan or ambition in mind. I came. I saw. And I acted on it whether it was my duty or not because I was in a position of power or authority or leverage to do good to someone in need or whole population in a local.
In the GameChanger, I take an issue with the plight of the Kurds. I separate 30 million or so Kurds that live in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and the 1 percent of them that are terrorists. The issue is that American soldiers are working in the region together with the 1 percent terrorist Kurds who do not represent the 30 million. I ask this question: If these terrorists are revolutionaries working for the good of the Kurds, why there are 400 thousand Kurds, living in Turkey as refugees, having run from Syria, after these terrorist Kurds ethnically cleansed them from the region?
You see, some people in Western governments today are doing evil things to the Kurds and there are many of them. Some are doing it not knowing what they are doing. Some others are doing because they are evil. So, I understand these details well and I thought GameChanger should play the role of changing the curse on the Kurds once and for all, now. In other words, my position then is still the same, and I am still working on these deeds.
RB ~ You enjoy a personal as well as professional relationship with President Erdogan. Have you gained a personal insight into his respect and love for America and what we, as a country and Trump as president, do to support his efforts for freedom there?
BG ~ Erdogan respects frankness just like Trump does. Turkey and almost all 27 prime ministers of Turkey, I am sure, appreciated America because America was good for the world for the most part, since WWII when it became a superpower. Erdogan, I am sure appreciates America because there has been no country as developed as America to date.
But ever since 1992, something went totally wrong in America when America elected three in a row Globalist presidents that brought moral decadence, military destruction and economic drain to America. During the tenure of the last two presidents, Erdogan was in power as well. Unfortunately, Bush-43 and Obama simply did not know lots of things. They messed it up for America. Erdogan in returned waited patiently until a more mature, seasoned, realistic president is elected in America. Two years after President Trump came to power and started to find his grove because of the domestic mess and the accumulated burdens of the24 Globalist years, they realized they are on the same page in many areas.
My primary reason to write the GameChanger was to relay the audience in America what I know best but GameChanger also became a way to communicate with the presidents of Turkey and America. I simply wrote what either president has said or would have said but also refrained. So that not only either of them would read it in the GameChanger what they meant, or they wanted to hear but also others in their close inner circles so that many people of importance will be on the same page. I simply wanted to do the dirty work for all of them by being frank, open, direct and historically and culturally correct.
Our thanks to Mr. Gunasti for his time and valued insight. In Part 2 we take a look at President Trump and Turkey’s important part in the continued immigration problems of Europe and the Turkey/America relationship so important to the world.
Updated information Stratfor report posted HERE.
A review of Erbil’s vast web presence will give additional input into his background and the basis for his views.
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