In a 2015 interview with Breitbart News, Trump was asked about Erdogan’s regime in Turkey, and he said, “I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul, and it’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers — two towers instead of one, not the usual one, it’s two. And I’ve gotten to know Turkey very well, and they are amazing people, they’re incredible people, they have a strong leader.”
Trump is right: This is a conflict of interest. Trump should have unloaded all his foreign business operations upon coming into office, and Congress should have passed a law forcing him to.
Trump personally profits from authoritarian and unreliable regimes. If Trump took actions that upset Erdogan, such as threatening sanctions in response to human rights abuses or getting in the way of Erdogan’s designs on Kurd-controlled regions, he could be harming his own profits by provoking a response from Erdogan or simply by weakening a regime that is friendly to Trump’s business.