A secluded runway, a Turkish agent and zero weapons’ WSJ wrote

Switzerland relegated, new address Turkey

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A secluded runway, a Turkish agent and zero weapons' WSJ wrote

The Wall Street Journal, one of the largest newspapers in the US, published an analysis drawing attention to Turkey’s strengthening role in the global arena. Recalling the details of the prisoner swap that took place in Ankara on 27 April 2022, WSJ wrote that Switzerland, which used to mediate in the front row of superpower conflicts, has now been relegated and Turkey is at the centre of power. The newspaper described Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan as “the hidden hand of Turkish diplomacy”.

Joe Parkinson, Drew Hinshaw, James Marson and Aruna Viswanatha’s analysis, titled ‘A secluded airstrip, a Turkish agent and zero weapons: The new world of prisoner swaps’, examined the prisoner swap that took place in Turkey on 27 April 2022, shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine.


Describing Turkey’s successful management of a carefully crafted prisoner exchange between two hostile powers, the US and Russia, the newspaper recalled that the handover on 27 April 2022 was the first of many hostage swaps hosted by Turkey and added: “Most recently, Turkey helped Qatar mediate between Israel and Hamas and helped rescue some 200 Israeli and foreign hostages held by Hamas. ” he said.

“Both sides agreed that they could count on Turkey,” the WSJ said, citing the words of a senior Turkish official, explaining that since many countries imposed travel restrictions on Russian officials after the start of the Ukrainian war, the question of which country could host the prisoner swap was on the table;

“It’s all about trust. This is intelligence diplomacy.”

A secluded runway, a Turkish agent and zero weapons' WSJ wrote 1


Suggesting that the task of hostage deals and swaps has ‘definitely shifted to the East’, WSJ said in its analysis: “Russia has added Switzerland and Austria to its ‘Unfriendly Countries List’ after they joined European sanctions. Swiss diplomats, once front-line mediators in superpower conflicts, are now grumbling in Whatsapp groups because they have been relegated. ” he used the expressions.

Turkey, a NATO member that supplies military equipment to Russia and sells fighter jets to Ukraine, is hosting prisoner swaps and peace talks instead of Switzerland, the newspaper wrote, stressing that Turkey is now at the centre of power in the Middle East.


The WSJ argued that America has become dependent on Turkey, Saudi Arabia or the UAE to resolve hostage crises and other disputes, and described Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan as “the hidden hand of Turkish diplomacy”:

“Hakan Fidan, whom Erdoğan calls ‘my secret cube’, has emerged as the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT). At 42, he became Turkey’s youngest intelligence chief and was appointed foreign minister in June. Former CIA officers who worked with Fidan say he built a network that crossed geopolitical fault lines and developed close contacts in Washington and Moscow.”


In the 2022 hostage swap, WSJ wrote that both the US and Russia contacted Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and that Fidan pointed to a secluded part of the airport in Ankara despite the Istanbul offer from both countries.

“Within days, MIT sent a plan outlining the details of the hostage swap to both countries,” the newspaper said, adding that spy chiefs from the US and Russia had visited MIT’s headquarters, known as the “fortress”, and held talks.

Reminding that not since the Cold War era have so many Americans been held as bargaining chips by hostile states, WSJ reminded that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and former US Marine Paul Whelan are still in Russian hands.


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