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Interview with New York Magazine Writer-at-Large and "Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Rights" Author Rebecca Traister; Interview with AKP Member of Central Decision-Making Board and Former Spokesman for Turkey's Ruling AK Party Harun Armagan; Interview with IYI Party Deputy Chairman Bilge Yilmaz; Interview with "When the Heavens Went on Sale" Author Ashlee Vance. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired May 10, 2023 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour," here is what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. JEAN CARROL, WON CIVIL CASE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP: This verdict is for all women. This is not really about me, it's for every single woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It's not about the money, E. Jean Carroll says she's got her life back after a jury finds Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and
defaming her. I asked "New York Magazine" writer-at-large, Rebecca Traister, what this moment means for the MeToo movement.
Also, ahead, tight election race in Turkey after two decades in power, will it be the countries cost-of-living crisis that finally proves President
Erdogan undoing? I asked politicians on both sides of the aisle if it is time for a change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHLEE VANCE, AUTHOR, "WHEN THE HEAVENS WENT ON SALE": We are in this new era of space. We've -- this is the dawn of commercial space in a really
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- interstellar gold rush. Walter Isaacson asks Ashlee Vance about his new book that charts the commercializing of space, "When the
Heavens Went on Sale."
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It took a jury a few hours to reach a unanimous verdict, but the effects could last decades. E. Jean Carroll has been awarded $5 million, but even
more importantly, for her and all of the victims, a jury believed her case that the former president, Donald Trump, sexually abused and defamed her
more than 25 years ago.
At nearly 80 years old now, Carroll never thought she would see the day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
E. JEAN CARROL, WON CIVIL CASE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP: I am really sort of taking in the moment and the overwhelming flood of a lot of hate, that's
part of it. But an overwhelming amount of relief and joy and the feeling of at last and the surge of there's a sort of feeling of victory that at last
somebody has held him accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Indeed. And in court, Trump, in typical fashion, says that he is the real victim. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The verdict is a disgrace, a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all-time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, whether this impacts Trump's political prospects is yet to be seen. I don't think he can get elected, says prominent Senate Republican
John Cornyn, on "CBS News." But others have rushed to his defense.
So, is this case the sequel to Trump's infamous 2016 boast that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still not lose voters? But this decision
is about much more the politics, it's about women's rights to be heard and believed even years later. And for abusers to finally be held to account.
Rebecca Traister, is writer-at-large for the "New York Magazine," the outlet that first broke the E. Jean Carroll story.
Rebecca Traister, welcome back to the program. You have also written about the consequence of this case. So, let me just ask you, beyond politics,
what is your reaction to this result?
REBECCA TRAISTER, WRITER-AT-LARGE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, AND AUTHOR, "GOOD AND MAD: THE REVOLUTIONARY POWER OF WOMEN'S RIGHTS": Well, it's one of those
moments where the sort of historic view of how long this kind of progress takes to make really comes into view.
Because, you know, we go back to the Access Hollywood tape where Trump was caught before -- in weeks before the 2016 election bragging about grabbing
women against their well and how when you're a celebrity they'll let you do it and there was a lot of thought then, some Republicans distanced
themselves from him. There was this thought that that might be an end to his presidential prospects, other women including two who testified,
corroborating E. Jean Kelly (ph), in this trial, came forward with their stories, in the New York times and elsewhere.
And yet, he was elected president, and there was a sense of defeat. And it was a real defeat with incredibly important political consequences. And
yet, that wasn't the end of the story. When it came to these questions of legal, political, social, civic consequence for having -- for sexual
assault, for alleged sexual assault and harassment, you know.
In part, the fury of his election, despite those admissions and charges, resulted in the women's march, which produced a whole wave of political
activism. A year later, there was the hashtag MeToo movement, which was sort of kicked off in that iteration by reporting on the sexual petition of
It was in 2019 that E. Jean Carroll first told her story of having been assaulted in the Bergdorf Goodman's dressing room. And now, then there was
the creation of a special window in which those like E. Jean Carroll who -- for whom the statute of limitations had passed for criminal charges could
file a civil case, which is what she did here.
And now, in 2023, it's the first instance of Trump being held legally accountable. And I think that's an incredible story about how arduous,
sinuous and how long these things sometimes take.
AMANPOUR: So, she referred to that new law in New York, which was passed not so long ago, to enable her to bring this civil suit. What do you think
that will do in general? Do you -- is that -- how do people know that they have that time? Because it is very important, she said, this is a victory
for all those women who -- like my generation, we're the silent generation, talk about the silent generation?
TRAISTER: Right. Well, you know, E. Jean Carroll says during her testimony, I was born in 1943. Significant changes to law around both
sexual assault and sexual harassment and the speech (ph) responsibility, the relationship of women and men to the state in terms of protection
against sexual harassment and sexual assault, those laws didn't really start changing until the ''70s.
So, part of what E. Jean Carroll is describing is a lifetime in the United States in which she came of age before laws had really even been reformed
or revised to better protect or punish those who'd committed sexual assault or harassment.
So, she came of age in an era before any of those legal changes have been made. And now, she is living in this moment as a 79-year-old, almost 80-
year-old woman to see her story being taken as seriously as the -- in fact, more seriously, than the word of a former president of United States.
And so, to have been born in part of that -- what she called the silent generation was a generation where there was no confidence that raising your
voice and telling a story of having been aggressed upon, having been assaulted or in other cases, harassed by a powerful figure, you know, the
sense that that would end badly for you, and that was a sense that persisted for her up until the '90s when this assault took place. And a
friend advised her, don't come forward and tell the story about this powerful man. At the time, Donald Trump was a powerful businessman, a
celebrity in New York City, he'll will bury. And she didn't.
So, that's what she means by the silent generation, part of an era in which there was absolutely no confidence that telling your story would end well
for you, and that lack of confidence has persisted, and this is an incredible instance in which the story -- she told the story, she told the
story in a memoir, she told the story in court, she spoke several times during her testimony of how happy she was to get her day in court. And
then, the jury, found in her favor. It is a remarkable story of -- a lifetime in which so many of these assumptions and laws have been changed.
AMANPOUR: And of course, it will have a lasting impact and ramifications for many, many victims that fit her profile. But especially, she said --
and she said it, you know, earlier today in her media rounds, that she's also changed the general perception of the victim. Let's just listen to how
she described it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: The old view of what the perfect victim looks like totally changed. The old view over the perfect victim was a woman who always
screamed, a woman who immediately reported, a woman whose life is supposed to fold up and she's never supposed to experience happiness again, that was
just shut down with this verdict. The death of the perfect victim has happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, that is actually a remarkable statement. And again, you've written a lot about, this you've written about her, but the whole
MeToo movement. Would you agree with that, that the profile, the death of a perfect victim, so-called, has ended now?
TRAISTER: I think that this was a real blow to the very narrow version of what a perfect victim might be. I think it probably -- I'd love to say that
it's the death of the perfect victim stereotype, but I -- those kinds of assumptions persist, you know, well beyond their sell-by date.
But yes, she did do a tremendous damage to this notion that in order to be believed you had to be entirely shaped and marked by your experience of
assault or trauma and that anything that was more complex, more fundamentally human than that invalidated your story. And here was this
woman who was simultaneously a lot of things, brash, confident, a professional who did not initially tell her story, who did not scream, who
also expressed in her testimony described her trauma not being able to be in a relationship after her experience with Donald Trump, who talked about
all kinds of messy and contradictory things and was believed because messy and contradictory as part of being a full human, and part of the fight for
gender equality is to establish that people who are not just white men are also fully human, and therefore, complicated, messy and full of
AMANPOUR: And I do want to put this, because you mentioned it before, the famous tape, in which he said he could grab women's private parts and et
cetera. And he doubled down in his -- I think it's the deposition in which E. Jean Carroll's lawyer questioned him. Now, Donald Trump was given the
opportunity to defend himself in this case, and we'll talk about what he did and what he didn't do, but there was questioning by the lawyer about
this particular issue, and I'm going to play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, historically that's true with stars.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's true with stars that they can grab women by the --
TRUMP: Well, that's what -- that's -- if you look over the last million years, I guess that's been largely true, not always, but largely true,
unfortunately or fortunately.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you consider yourself to be a star?
TRUMP: I think you can say that, syes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Rebecca, this then plays both ways. The first time it was uttered and everybody thought that was going to end his -- you know, his
bid for the presidency, it did not. But paradoxically, this time it seemed to have been a big part of the evidence against him.
TRAISTER: I mean, it's a fascinating thing because, you know, Donald Trump is not wrong in that deposition, that this behavior that has been broadly
permissible and not even considered legally problematic up until very recently, that he is certainly not the first president who has grabbed
people against their will and nonetheless became president.
But part of what the fight, in this period is, is to solidify these laws that are supposed to reform those attitudes that are supposed to discourage
them, punish them, those -- that kind of behavior when it takes place, that is supposed to better protect women and give them equal citizenship and
representation under the law and in civic and public and private and social contexts.
And so, he is reflecting attitudes, that as he says, you know, have been the norm over generations. But part of the work that we are in the midst of
right now is altering those attitudes. And so, in this instance, he's relying on that, that doubling down as his defense, did not hold water. And
in fact, probably helped to sink him because there was a jury that said, actually, those millions of years of that behavior are not OK, and you are
going to be held legally accountable in this case for having behave that way.
AMANPOUR: And there are allegedly other women who have similar cases that they may or may not bring, but they have been raised publicly in the media
and that might have it. He, the former president, has said, as you heard his reaction, that they -- he said he will appeal. But E. Jean Carroll's
lawyer said, yes, he might, and it's his right, but he doesn't have any grounds and he will not win. And I'm wondering, what do you think that is
based on? Partly, his own words in that testimony, she suggested.
TRAISTER: Yes. I mean, I think the strength of this victory is sort of undeniable. This was not -- there can be no allegations here that this with
some left-wing -- I mean, he'll make them, right? This is a witch hunt, the greatest witch hunt in history. But this was not some left-wing -- this was
a jury of New Yorkers, at least one of whom was reportedly was a man who listens to conservative talk radio. It was a majority male jury. And these
people found in favor of E. Jean Carroll. There is nothing that sort of off or suspicious or ideological about the nature of this ruling.
He absolutely has the right to appeal. And I never want to predict a legal future, but I think Carroll's lawyers are very right to point out like
look, this was a very direct process. This was a federal case. This was -- it was presided over by a judge. You know, there was a jury that had all
the information, that had deposition from Trump, that had the testimony from Carroll and her corroborating witnesses, and they came to this finding
within three hours.
So, I don't think that there's legal standing -- you know, much grounds to expect that he would prevail, should he appeal.
AMANPOUR: Rebecca, clearly the elephant in the room is the fact that this person is running again for the presidency. Not only that, he has some 50
percent of the Republican vote right now. He's way ahead, about 30 percent, way ahead of his nearest challenger who hasn't even yet declared, Ron
DeSantis. And again, you know, it's really interesting, and I hadn't clocked it, that the jury was, you know, majority men. But he's running for
election again. And I wonder what you think this time what effect that might have, a second time around, given, you know, the women's vote has
been proven to be so powerful, particularly after the Supreme Court ruling, rejecting Roe v. Wade, and all of those kinds of rulings?
TRAISTER: Yes. It's a fascinating question. I can't predict the future. I will say that all of these, you know, versions of the story, people coming
forward with very detailed accounts of Trump having assaulted them, Trump himself admitting and bragging about grabbing women against their will, all
of that was public before his first election.
And again, I want to stress, a majority of Americans actually didn't vote for him. He won because of -- through the Electoral College. But he won. He
won the presidency. And I think it's entirely -- there are people who vote for Donald Trump, many of them who believe that these attitudes, the kind
of things that -- and behaviors, what's he's described as having persisted for millions of years are in fact the way that the world should be, that
men should have certain abilities -- powerful men should have certain abilities to behave in ways toward women and other bodies in general, and
they like that about him and they like that he's direct about it.
So, let's not pretend that everybody is put off by this. This is - there's a reason this is such a long fight. People want the world to remain that
way. But we've also have his presidency now, which was not true in 2016, in which -- and we can see the political and legal ramifications of him having
been in power. You know, it's -- his Supreme Court, in part, that just made a decision --
TRAISTER: -- about pregnant people's bodies, the access to reproductive health care, there are connections there. The idea that you should be able
to treat certain kinds of bodies in certain kinds of restrictive and abusive ways it's now very horrifyingly evident --
TRAISTER: -- how that can work itself out in terms of policy and law. So, that might change the calculation.
AMANPOUR: So, there is another elephant in the room, and with all, you know, disclosure, we want to mention what many others are talking about,
and that is the Trump town hall that's going to be on CNN.
Now, he has tweeted, before this verdict, they made me a deal I couldn't refuse. Could be the beginning of a new and vibrant CNN, with no more fake
news, or it could turn into disaster for all, including me. Let's see what happens.
Of course, CNN has said that this, you know, a legitimate inquiry into legitimate presidential candidates who is way ahead of the others and that
he will be, you know, interviewed rigorously. This is an extraordinary opportunity for him to be interviewed about precisely what we are talking
about on this particular moment or what? What do you think?
TRAISTER: Well, I can't predict how it's going to go. I know that he is -- I mean, you listen to what he says, oh, it could go terribly for me. This
is a showman. He is an entertainer. And he has shown absolute mastery in getting audiences to pay attention to him, in getting things like, you
know, a town hall that all eyes are going to be glued to. It is a tremendous opportunity for him to show off his brand of aggressive
Remember the way he behaved at one of those debates in 2016 against Hillary Clinton where he kind of pod the ground and stood menacingly behind her,
and that was a performance of like a kind of old-style machismo that I think is very tied to his defense I against Carroll, right? He
simultaneously wants to advertise himself as a man and a victim. A man who's been wronged by these feminists, right, and these left-wing witch
So, he can put on the Donald Trump show of aggressive, unapologetic, masculinity. The question is how that will be handled journalistically by
CNN and within the context of the town hall.
TRAISTER: And I don't know how that's going to go. We --
AMANPOUR: Rebecca Traister, thank you very much indeed. As you said, this was -- you know, a victory for the MeToo movement and for feminism and for
women and all victims actually.
So, while Trump, of course, in addition, embodies illiberal democracy in the United States, look at January 6th, over in Turkey, it's their sitting
president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who does the same. The Turkish leader has been in power for nearly two decades. To drive home that long it is, just
take a look at this photo with his then-U.S. counterpart, George W. Bush.
Elections on Sunday present Erdogan him with the most serious challenge so far. For the first time, he enters an election trailing in the polls, but
they are tightening, amid a cost-of-living crisis and anger still brewing over the response to the catastrophic earthquakes. Turkish voters will get
a chance to vote for more of the same or for change.
In a moment, we will talk to a supporter of the main opposition candidate. But first, Harun Armagan, member of the Central Decision-Making Board of
Erdogan's AK Party. And we welcome you to the program from Istanbul.
HARUN ARMAGAN, MEMBER OF CENTRAL DECISION-MAKING BOARD, AKP, AND FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR TURKEY'S RULING AK PARTY: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you, this is, I mean, the first time that your leader, your party chairman, the president, has entered this kind of race
trailing. How do you think it's going to go? Is it really very tight? Does he have to do a lot of work to win?
ARMAGAN: First of all, Christiane, let me give you a big thank you to all millions of AK Party volunteers who have been working day and night
tirelessly, starting three months ago, helping the earthquake survivors and recently more on our election campaign. And we are very proud that we have
delivered what we promised five years ago to people, and we are seeing that people are giving the credit.
President Erdogan had 26 million votes in the last election, and we are hoping that we are going to exceed this number and he will be elected again
to this country as a president. President Erdogan is making two, three rallies in last month, going across, campaigning 81 cities. And we are
seeing that people are giving their confidence to us again, from small community events to large rallies, like the one that we had --
ARMAGAN: -- historic high record 1.7 million in Istanbul on this Sunday. And it is a clear evidence that people are showing their support to us. And
we are hoping that President Erdogan and that party will win in the first round.
AMANPOUR: Of course, you are hoping. And you want the first round. Many have talked about a second, you know, no runoff. But here is the thing, 20
years is a long time. I mean, right? 20 years is a long time to be president, prime minister, president, and to keep running the place in the
midst of something that you just can't spin and that is hyperinflation, the plunging currency, falling of living standards and the corruption that even
President Erdogan addressed, when he was forced to, during the, you know, last year's earthquake.
And, you know, people have said, and they've been quoted, saying, you know, we always hope for better standards of living, but now we are being
crushed. 85 percent inflation. How does the president tell the people that, if you vote me, you get something better?
ARMAGAN: Look, Christiane, we are not immune to global economic challenges, the global pandemic that we had and the Russian Ukraine war
with highly increasing energy prices impacted Turkey as much as it impacted U.K., U.S., United States and Germany. But we were one of the countries
that actually had the quickest recovery.
We have reached the highest tourism and export income in our history last year. And the inflation dropped 40 percent since October 2022. And it will
continue to drop throughout this year, and we will see single digits next year. We are hoping that we are going to see single digits.
ARMAGAN: And President Erdogan has achieved this before in that party and we know that people believe that we can do that again.
AMANPOUR: Well, having to persuade them because, obviously, the proof is in the very, very, very close and tight poles. And as I said, him trailing
at the moment, which is the first time that this has happened during one of his elections.
But also, is this really a fair election? Maybe it is in terms of voting and the ballot box. But the opposition has said, how can it be a level
playing field when the president controls all of the -- you know, they are loyal to him, and "Reporters Without Borders" says 90 percent of Turkey's
media is controlled by the president and his allies.
How do you think that the opposition gets a look in?
ARMAGAN: I mean, first of all, I completely disagree with the claim that you had. That's not true. Turkey -- media is free in Turkey as much as they
are in the U.S. and the U.K. When it comes to the free part of election, if someone who comes to Istanbul can see different political parties are
campaigning in the streets, and the atmosphere of election in Turkey is like a festive democratic atmosphere. We have one of the highest
participations that shows the commitment that Turkish people have to its democracy and elections.
And also, I would like to make sure that this point is recorded. When it comes to economy and inflation, we have delivered some of the most main
projects that -- despite the global challenges in the last five years, like we have the highest -- the largest hydroelectric plant, solar power plant,
nuclear power plant, we delivered in this last five years.
Maybe many of the criticisms or academics maybe or other guests will come out after me will not tell, but we have created 2 million jobs in 2002.
ARMAGAN: In 2022.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, we'll take that. But, you know, you do -- you know, we know that the numbers of journalists jailed in your country are 40 at the
moment and it is a pretty difficult situation for those other than those who are approved by the president. But anyway, let's not argue about that
because that's the statistic. What I want to know is this --
ARMAGAN: If you would allow me to correct that. If you would allow me to correct that. Those people you credit as journalists, most of them has
never done journalism. They don't have --
AMANPOUR: Well, they are still in jail, 40 of them.
ARMAGAN: They are not -- for example, one of them actually killed a police. He's not inside just because he is a journalist, he actually
committed a crime. Journalism does not give people a --
AMANPOUR: No, of course it doesn't give them the right to commit crimes. Yes, yes. I understand that. I also understand that there is not a totally
free and independent press there.
ARMAGAN: Well --
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you a final question -- let me ask you a final question. We've had a back and forth.
AMANPOUR: So, here is the thing. You have just said that you hope that the AK Party will win on the first round. So, the question is, will your party,
if it does not win on the first round, A, accept the results? And if it then doesn't win on the second round, will accept the results?
ARMAGAN: Of course, we will accept any result that this nation tells us on the ballot boxes, whatever comes. We have a very strong democracy. But the
meetings, the rallies that we do across Turkey and Istanbul, like I said, 1.7 million people participated, and this is the highest number among the
history of Turkish political rallies, it shows that we will be winning in the first around.
AMANPOUR: All right.
ARMAGAN: Because of Erdogan and AK Party will have another five years to deliver projects.
AMANPOUR: Well, we'll watching closely. Thank you very much indeed, Harun Armagan, for joining us, of the AK Party.
And now, as I said, we are going to turn to Bilge Yilmaz, who is the deputy chairman of the IYI Party Party, one of the opposition parties of the grand
coalition that has banded together for this effort.
So, you just heard but the -- you know, your opposition there talking about the economy that seems to be going better, he said, because of the
intervention of the president. What is the main platform that you all think is your path to overturning a 20-year reign?
BILGE YILMAZ, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, IYI PARTY: Thank you for having me. The problem in Turkey is really multidimensional and we are obviously arguing
on all those platforms, but I am also the chairman of the Economic Policy Unit here at IYI Party. So, my focus is mostly on the economy. But, you
know, Turkey doesn't have a particularly good record in terms of human rights and democracy. People are jailed, are picked out from their homes
because just -- they just send a simple tweet, and so and so forth.
So, people are intimidated constantly by the government. People who support opposing parties are constantly under threat. So, in this environment,
obviously, it's hard to have a free and fair election. And whether the elections would be fair on the ballot box itself, I think is a challenge
that one has to look into.
But in terms of the biggest item, and I might be a little bias, obviously, because of what I do, it's the economy. Turkey is having a very high
inflation. It is true that, because of the pandemic, inflation was a worldwide phenomenon. But many countries, emerging markets had inflation
that is above one-fifth of what Turkey had. So, 90 percent of inflation that we had in Turkey is Turkey's own doing. It wasn't due to the pandemic.
And the other thing about inflation is that the government had been fabricating numbers. So, the inflation actually rounds much higher than
what the government's statistic agency say.
YILMAZ: Going forward. we are actually facing much more difficult era. Currently, Turkey is running a very high trade and current economic (ph)
deficit despite what your previous guest had said. Yes, Turkey is exporting more, but it is importing a lot more than it used to and Turkey is
manipulating its currency by spending its reserves.
Right now, Turkey's central bank reserves are standing near negative $70 billion and they are right now selling the gold.
YILMAZ: So, fairly quickly, Turkey will run out of reserves. So, if President Erdogan wins again and continues on this path of mismanagement
and corruption, I'm afraid Turkey will experience much worse than high inflation.
AMANPOUR: And what --
YILMAZ: And by the --
AMANPOUR: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but what gives you the belief and the hope then, and you -- we do hear about people's, you know, economic
pain, obviously, that after two decades and with, you know, so much of the state institutions at his disposal, including the press and the mass media,
how do you think you can break through?
YILMAZ: Obviously, if we had free press and full democracy, President Erdogan would lose in a landslide. So, it wouldn't not be a close election.
Because he has the entire control in the country and using the government's full power to campaign and distribute ranks in the society, just before the
election, and control 90 percent of the press, he's making the race close.
So, outcome of the election is quite uncertain. There's a good chance our candidate will win, and there's a good chance, I'm afraid, that we might
lose. And that's what usually happens in these autocratic regimes, you don't really get a fair chance, but you have to use the chance that you
And you know, in the unlikely outcome that we'll lose, I hope we don't go there, but the fight will continue. This is not the end of things, and
hopefully, we will win.
AMANPOUR: You heard your opponent basically saying that, you know, millions of new jobs have recently been created. He just launched Erdogan,
the largest warship, Black Sea gas secured, open Turkey's first nuclear power plant, and obviously, he's getting help from Russia. Does that -- is
that something that, you know, resonates with people, that they will see him actually doing -- using the presidency to do those things that might
YILMAZ: Sure. But obviously, one has to make corrections and all of this. I mean, if you compare it to the bottom of the pandemic, of course all of
these countries have created jobs. So, it's not that surprising that after the pandemic, economy bounced back, which happened around the globe. And
then, constantly just before elections, President Erdogan announces that the country has found new reserves of oil and gas and they have done this
and that, that constantly happens but people have pretty much caught up with those fabrications that most of these things don't, in the long run,
But needless to say, some of the stuff does influence people. But President Erdogan's success -- I mean, he's a very pragmatic politician. So, you have
to give him credit, there are (INAUDIBLE) credits too. He's a good politician, not for the country, but for his own personal interest. And he
manages to change the focus from the economy to security. So, he's running this campaign despite what my -- your previous guest had said actually,
(INAUDIBLE), he is trying to say that, well, maybe the economy isn't that good, but for the safety of the country and the future and so and so forth,
you still have to support me.
And the way he does it is he actually fabricates facts that tries to put the opposing parties with the side of terrorists and so and so. So, he just
builds his campaign on top of a bunch of lies, effectively.
AMANPOUR: The politics of fear are employed, you know, all over the world of course. Can I ask you something though, in terms of the international
policy of the coalition, if you do in fact win? You know, one of the big issues, of course, is the E.U., that membership has been tabled for a long
time. What will the coalition do regarding better ties with the West, if it wins?
YILMAZ: Obviously, Turkey has to do what is good for her citizens and the future of the country. Turkey should and will continue her good relations
with her neighbors, including Russia. But at the end the day, most of Turkey's interests is building her strategic partnership with the West, and
purchase (ph) part of NATO, as you know, and Turkey is a partner of European Union, part of the Customs Union, and most of Turkey's exports are
to Europe. European Union. And so is the foreign (INAUDIBLE) investment.
So, Turkey will make the most from her relationship with the West in a way that benefits both Turkey and her long-term strategic allies and partners.
And in some ways, obviously, I am not a diplomat. I am running on the side of the economy in the sense that I am running for a position to run the
economy, the -- manage the country's economy, not pursue international relations, but I think it's fair to say that Turkey will go back to its
factory settings after the election once we win.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, we will be watching this election. Very, very interesting for so many reasons. Bilge Yilmaz, thank you for joining us.
Now, to space where the modern-day fight for the skies could turn science fiction into reality, is the tech boom that promises to take over as a new
generation of entrepreneurs navigates the wild west of aerospace engineering. And private companies compete in the race to commercialize
space. It's all chronicles in Ashlee Vance's new book, "When the Heavens Went on Sale." And he is joining Walter Isaacson to explain this new era of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And, Ashlee Vance, welcome to the show.
ASHLEE VANCE, AUTHOR, "WHEN THE HEAVENS WENT ON SALE": Thank you so much.
ISAACSON: Hey, congratulations on this new book, "When the Heavens Went on Sale," about all of the people getting into the private space industry and
lower earth orbit. It starts on Kwajalein Atoll with Elon Musk and SpaceX doing his first three failed launches and finally, a successful one. You
were (INAUDIBLE) Elon Musk, as you know, I'm doing one. Tell me why you start with Musk, since he is not the main character in the book?
VANCE: Yes. Well, you know, one of the big arguments I'm trying to make in this book is that we are in this new era of space. We've -- this is the
dawn of commercial space in a really meaningful way. And since the 1960s, that obviously was not the case. This was a very government-backed,
slightly military driven enterprise. And a few rich people had tried in the past to make commercial rockets and they've had some success, but nothing
And so, in 2008, when SpaceX gets this Falcon 1 rocket, this privately funded rocket from this dotcom (ph) millionaire into orbit, you know, I see
this as this exciting incident. In the moment, it wasn't immediately clear that this was going to kick off a huge commercial space race. But I think a
lot of people looked at what SpaceX had done and that, as I argue in the book, a lot of people's imagination and passion of sort of this pent-up
interest in space that had been sort of deadened over the decades.
ISAACSON: This is about a whole bunch of companies, most people haven't heard of, and they seem to be creating or trying to create an economy in
the low earth orbit. Explain that to me, because it seems like this new frontier, what are they trying to create in orbit?
VANCE: Yes. I mean, another central argument in my book is that going to mars and setting up a colony, like Elon wants to do is fascinating. People
want to do something similar on the moon. There's space tourism, but if you take a step back, the immediate action that's taking place right now is in
the lower earth orbit, the bit of space that's right above her head where thousands of satellites go.
And SpaceX is a major player in that space, the major player. But there are now hundreds of rockets start-ups and satellite start-ups that are looking
to build what I described as a type of computing shell around the earth, just like one data point for people from 1960 to about 2020, we had put up
2,500 satellites into the lower earth orbit. That number doubled over the last two years to 5,000. And it is expected to go anywhere from 100,000
satellites to 200,000 satellites in the next decade.
ISAACSON: Whoa, whoa, whoa. 100,000 satellites. Tell me that what they're going to do.
VANCE: Yes. I don't think most people realize what's going on here. The -- you know, there's a couple obvious buckets of what's already happening. So,
we have hundreds of imaging satellites. One of the companies in my book is called Planet Labs. They make these tiny shoe box size satellites. They've
surrounded the globe with them. They take a picture of every spot on earth, every day, multiple pictures, and not even the U.S. government, China,
Russia has this capability. The second major bucket is communications. So, we see SpaceX, we see a company called OneWeb, we see Amazon heading in
this direction to make a space internet that's delivered from lower earth orbit.
The central premise with this is really -- it's twofold, I suppose. You connect the 3.5 billion people on earth that can't be reached by fiber
optic cable, you bring them into the modern economy. And then, at the same time, you create this always on internet for the first time, that is
persistent and sort of washing over the earth. And this are just the beginning steps of what people are gambling as a much bigger space economy
in lower earth orbit.
ISAACSON: Well, you said something fascinating just now and it's in your book, it's Will Marshall and Planet Labs, of the ability to take a picture
of every single spot on earth every day. Why could that be a really good economic business model?
VANCE: Yes, it's fascinating. I mean, Planet -- this company that's kind of flown under the radar. Sorry, it's impossible not to make space patents
as you go, but they've done something incredible. Like I said, this was -- these imaging satellites, people would think of them maybe as spy
satellites, but that is not the case here. These are satellites that are essentially photographing the sum total of human activity that's taking
place below us.
So, it could be something like literally counting every tree, on planet earth, their biomass, how much carbon dioxide they pull in. This is
something you could use to put actual metrics around things like carbon credits as we are trying to solve climate change. They're counting --
ISAACSON: Could you do it with infrared so you could say, here are the people emitting carbon this day?
VANCE: Absolutely. So, they do that. They also do it for methane. They have all sorts of different sensors on the satellites. Another thing they
do -- one of their biggest customers is actually agriculture. So, farmers use these satellites to look from space to see how much chlorophyll is in
their crops and decide when to harvest them, how healthy their crops are, what their yield is going to be. It's -- I think of it as almost like this
Google search engine for the earth that's sitting above us.
ISAACSON: Could a company like a Walmart say, I want to know how many trucks are going into Target every day and I want to be able to calculate
their exact supply chain?
VANCE: Absolutely. You know, you'll these satellites going over Walmart parking lots during the back-to-school shopping season and you've got
people in hedge funds that are sitting there having an A.I. count the number of cars that are in the parking lot to figure out how busy it is.
They do the same thing for oil storage tanks. There's this kind of fascinating technique where the tanks have these lids that sort of suppress
depending how much oil is in them, and the satellites look at the angle of the shadow that gets produced from that to count how much oil is actually
in these tanks.
ISAACSON: How could it affect warfare? We know it's already played a role in Ukraine.
VANCE: Yes. I mean, again, this is something where, in the past, if North Korea was sending up a missile, you would be dependent on government images
of this to spin it whichever way they so choose. In the case of Planet, this is a private company, anybody can hop on their website and find these
images. And so, you have this, even though they're a company, it's almost this independent layer of truth about what's happening.
In Ukraine, it was fascinating. The -- when we have Russia telling us that they were not going to attack Ukraine, we have and hundreds of Planet
images of the Russian troops amassing on -- in Belarus, at the border, and we sort of knew exactly what was going to happen.
And in the early days of -- when Russia did move into Ukraine, these satellites provided Ukraine with intelligence they never would have had
before on the Russian troop movements, both during the day and at night.
ISAACSON: We've had Senator Bill Nelson and NASA administrate on the show a couple times, and he is really into public private partnerships. Tell me
what NASA is doing to make use of these things?
VANCE: Well, the United States government has more or less like an all you can eat contract with Planet. So, they can use these for environmental
studies from somewhere like NASA or they can use them for some sort of espionage activities, just tracking what's going on in the world for yields
on crops. So, the United States is already using these images quite a bit.
The interesting thing to me is if you're a country that cannot afford to send up your own rockets and put up your own satellites or you haven't made
that investment, for the first time, you can turn to a country like Planet and be on somewhat of a level playing field with the traditional space
superpowers who have dominated for decades
ISAACSON: Your book is wonderfully readable because it's so character driven. It's got a lot of colorful characters. I guess one of my favorites
was General Pete Wardon who comes from the traditional government background. I mean, he's a general in the military. Tell me his story and
why he is one of the driving characters in your book.
VANCE: I'm glad you picked that up on Pete. He's one of my favorites as well. He's -- you know, we always think of Elon, because he is out there in
the public and he has done so much to change this industry, but if there's a figure who is lurking in the back for decades, pushing things in this
commercial space direction, it is Pete. He is an astrophysicist with a Ph.D. He became a general in the air force and was something of a -- he was
a major figure during the Star Wars Missile Defense Shield. He ran some black ops operations. Pete was both beloved and sort of hated for always
pushing up against his bosses, and he more or less got banished.
ISAACSON: The bosses in the Pentagon, you are talking about --
VANCE: In the Pentagon, correct.
ISAACSON: -- in the government. Yes. While he's still in government. And you say he got banished? He almost got fired, right, or did get fired?
VANCE: He did get fired. He got fired by Rumsfeld for this of black ops campaign gone wrong. And then was sent to NASA Ames, which is the Silicon
Valley NASA center. That's Amess, it's right by Google. It's had this decades-long influence on NASA and done a lot of pioneering science. But
the center was about to be closed down before Pete got there.
And he brought in just a ton of twenty somethings who thought very differently about space. They were the ones that wanted to make cheap
rockets. They wanted to make cheap satellites. And Pete gave them these resources to go chase after this stuff. NASA really had an allergic
reaction to what they were doing, but they kept pursuing it. Pete gave them some cover. And Planet Labs, as an example, is a company that came out of
NASA Ames along with several rocket companies.
ISAACSON: You say Planet Labs came out of NASA Ames. I think there's a scene in your book, maybe it was in Houston, Texas where Pete Wardon is
there and he is sort of the evil Darth Vader who'd done "Star Wars" and defense missiles.
ISAACSON: And he gets introduced to -- I think it's Will Marshall and others who were running Planet Labs who, in my reading of your book, are
kind of hippies. You know, they are not -- they are doing this for military or business reasons. How did that end up working out?
VANCE: Well, they could not be more opposite people. Will Marshall, the guy you mentioned, is the CEO and co-founder of Planet. He is as idealistic
as it gets. He is a space hippie. He'd spent his youth writing papers about not militarizing space and he ends up in this bar with Pete, and Pete
strolls over and does say, you know, well, you know, hi, I'm Darth Vader. Let's have a talk.
And to both their credit, I mean, this is the amazing thing about what Pete did at NASA Ames, he didn't bring in people that thought exactly like him
or we're doing exactly what he wanted, he brought in people with new ideas and allowed them to flourish, and Will's probably the prime example of
ISAACSON: And he had a phrase called response of space. What's that all about?
VANCE: Well, this is something Pete and the Department of Defense have dreamed about for years. You could think about it as the precursor to space
force. There was this idea that space could be another arm of the military in the same way as we do things on land and in sea and in air where you
have a conflict and we send up a rocket at a moment's notice to put a satellite over wherever this conflict is taking place.
The DOD had spent decades trying to do this. And really, just could not figure out how to make these small cheap rockets, these small cheap
satellites capable of achieving their goals. And Pete was always pushing for this, and then people like Elon and Planet came along that have pulled
ISAACSON: The people in your book don't really seem motivated, either by defense means or profit. What is motivating them to do this?
VANCE: Well, you know, this book has kind of four major stories that I would argue that the motivations of each group of characters is a little
bit different. One of the things I try to point out in the book is that space -- the space economy is happening, but it's not fully clear that it
makes sense. You know, there are business cases to be had here, but we don't know how big they are going to be and yet --
ISAACSON: So, in other words, if you really want to make money, this is not where you'd be going into it?
VANCE: Maybe not. Definitely on the rocket side. The satellite side tends to have quite a bit of money. But the -- it's really this -- it reminds me
so much of the early days, like 1996, with the consumer internet. We have this feeling that something big is happening. We're going to lay a ton of
fiber optic cables. We're going to build a bunch of data centers and see what happens, but if you've -- nobody would've predicted all the businesses
that have come out of that sense.
And I think with space, we're placing this huge bet that if you reduce the cost of getting to space and you reduce the cost of these satellites that a
whole lot of new ideas flourish. But I argue in the book that we just do not know for sure at all.
ISAACSON: Well, one reason we don't, I mean, we look at Richard Branson, he has a Virgin Orbit, which -- not one that sends people up as tourist
missions, but does orbiting like you're talking about, and it just went bankrupt. What do you make of that?
VANCE: Well, absolutely. So, I don't think people realize, this is kind of why I wanted to write the book. I mean, there are hundreds of rocket start-
ups all over the world. And so, there's been this massive investment in this economy already. We're starting to see a bit of a pullback and
separating the winners from the losers.
Right now, SpaceX and another company in the book, Rocket Lab, are the only two major success stories as far as commercial rocket companies go. So,
these are -- I think we've seen this first wave of investment. I think we've learned a lot of lessons. And I do think we're going to see a second
wave here soon of people trying to correct these early mistakes.
ISAACSON: Tell me what you are worried about.
VANCE: Well, you know, if we move from 2,500 satellites to 100,000 satellites in short order, there's very real risks of these things running
into each other in orbits. And there's a thing called the Kessler Syndrome where you have -- if a crash takes place in orbit, you have this kind of
cascading issue of debris just running into each other all the time and creating -- making it sort of uninhabitable, unworkable in lower earth
And people might not care, because they say, oh, these are all futuristic things anyway, but it's not true. You know, something like GPS, which is
this glue of modern society would be completely disrupted if something like that happened.
ISAACSON: So, who regulates this? Any national entity doing it?
VANCE: There's some regulation. You know, there's the FAA and the FCC do a lot of regulation around when the rockets could go up, what satellites they
take and what those satellites can do and are they going to compete with each other.
Once the satellite is actually in orbit, you would be surprised how little regulation there is. It's kind of like, put it up there and then, just go
for it. There's not really much regulation at all about what you have to do to dispose of the satellite. As far as I know, New Zealand is the only
country that has laws in place that say, if you put something up in orbit, you are responsible for how it gets back and what happens to it and what it
does while it's in space.
So, there is this layer of regulation. There are international bodies overseeing all of this. But I think commercial space is now moving so much
faster than what happened before that they are having trouble keeping up. It is -- it's a bit of a land grab at the moment.
ISAACSON: You seem to have had an enormous amount of fun doing this book. I mean, you just barrel all over the place, get into anything. Tell me
what's the most fun you had.
VANCE: You know, I did have a lot of fun. I want to some very exotic places. My favorite trip, I think, was going to Ukraine before the war. And
I was a kid who grew up in the '80s, kind of a child of the Cold War. And I think I am the second western reporter and the only one who brought a video
camera into the old Soviet ICBM factories in Ukraine. And it was fascinating to see.
I went to the ICBM factories. I want to the secret rocket testing sites in the forest, and it was just fascinating for me to be in this place that you
never imagine you'd even be allowed into when you were growing up. And also, a bit sad to see the state of it all. I mean, it felt like it was
frozen in the 1960s, and there was a tiny fraction of the number of people working there that used to work there. But nonetheless, that was probably
my favorite trip.
ISAACSON: Ashlee Vance, thank you so much for joining us.
VANCE: Thank you, Walter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And, finally, Pakistan is a country on edge, sparked by the dramatic arrest of former prime minister, Imran Khan, on corruption
charges. The last 24 hours have seen deadly clashes between his supporters and police. And I will talk about the stakes for this critically placed
nation and often troubling western ally with Pakistan's former ambassador to U.S., Husain Haqqani. That is on tomorrow's show.
And that's it for us. If you ever missed this show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. You can see right now on your
screen a QR code, just pick up your phone, scan it with our camera. You can also find us or it at cnn.com/podcast and on all major platforms, search
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Thank you for watching. Goodbye from London.