Turkey facilitating Venezuela despot Maduro's gold movement out of the country

Bloomberg:
Two months after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, a mysterious company called Sardes sprang into existence.

The firm started business with a bang in January of 2018, when it imported about $41 million worth of gold from Venezuela, the first such transaction between the two countries in records that go back 50 years. The next month its volume more than doubled, with Sardes transporting almost $100 million worth to Turkey.

By November, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order authorizing sanctions on Venezuelan gold -- after sending an envoy to warn Turkey off the trade, Sardes had shuttled $900 million of the precious metal out of the country. Not bad for a company with just $1 million in capital, according to regulatory filings in Istanbul.

It’s not the first time that Turkey has positioned itself as a work-around for countries facing U.S. sanctions, potentially undermining Washington’s efforts to isolate governments it considers hostile or corrupt. Ankara has often tested the boundaries of U.S. tolerance, and the alliance between the key NATO members is now essentially broken, according to two senior U.S. officials.
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There is more.

Under Erdogan, Turkey has become a rogue state hostile to US interests in the Middle East and elsewhere.  As long as Erdogan is in power Turkey will be a faithless ally.

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