The old Anatolian joke goes that the rich landowner is driving his new tractor and his overseer is following from behind, in total exhaustion after hard day’s work.

Mehmet the overseer has always wanted to buy a tractor for his small ploy where he wants to increase productivity and visit the village coffeeshop like a landowner – now that he owns a tractor.

“Mehmet,” shouted from the tractor’s seat. “Yes, Aga.” “I thought about it for a while and maybe we can make a deal and this tractor can be yours.” Speechless, all Mehmet cold say was he could not afford it. “Easy,” said the Aga. The Aga is so rich that he is not interested in money; all he wanted to do was to publicly humiliate his overseer because he had the habit of gossiping and Aga’s family.

“Here is my offer, Mehmet. Take it, or leave it. I’ll pee somewhere here and you’ll drink it all (softer version of the story). Not a drop will be left.”

Mehmet first says an almost inaudible “no,” then looks at the tractor, with regained courage shouts: “Yes, I agree.” They finish their business, Aga signs papers n Mehmet’s name, Mehmet is at the wheel and Aga is walking behind.

As they walk with the village lights almost visible, both men regret the deal: Aga will be ashamed of losing his expensive tractor for nothing and Mehmet will become the joke of the village for stooping so low as to drink Aga’s piss for a cursed tractor.

Stopping the tractor Mehmet said: Aga, we did not do well. We should find a way to get out of this mess.” “I agree,” said Aga. “What if I buy back the tractor from you?” Fine, said Mehmet, same conditions. No, Aga protested. He has plenty of money and enough with this pee drinking thing. So, no deal,” Mehmet starts the ignition. Aga runs after the tractor and agrees to terms.

He jumps into the seat and they drive/walk for two more hours when the village lights are on.

“Aga,” Mehmet says, “Can I ask you something?” Go ahead. “The tractor is still yours, like before. I don’t have a tractor, like before. Then why in hell did we drink each other’s pees?

Fighter jets are more expensive than tractors. You normally don’t buy one by drinking the richer person’s pee. In the case of the F-35 this author has been ‘guessing’ (and writing) S-400 is a done deal for the past two years. When the Turks realised that they went too far it was too late to backtrack. The Americans on the other hand never took the RU-TR S-400 deal seriously. Oh, at some point it will break up although we are almost at the delivery stage. What went wrong? Many things. But primarily the U.S. assumption that Mr Erdogan was bluffing when he shook hands with Vladimir Putin.

At least it has been a fair deal: The landlord is still the landlord and the overseer s still the overseer. And drinking pee will not kill anyone.