Five problems that overshadow US-Turkey alliance

By Rufiz Hafizoglu

Several factors have led to deterioration of relations between the US and Turkey.

Among them are the New York prosecutors’ warrant to arrest Turkey’s former minister of economy Zafer Caglayan, provision of YPG and PYD – the Syrian wings of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – with arms by the US, Ankara’s contract with Moscow for purchase of the S-400 Triumph air defense systems, the joint military operations of Turkey, Iran and Russia in Syria’s Idlib, and, finally, the recent arrest of an employee of the US Consulate General in Ankara.

However, these are just the visible parts of the crisis in the US-Turkey relations.

As it is known, Turkey has never joined Western sanctions against Iran and this fact testifies that the warrant to arrest Caglayan, accused of supporting the development of Iran's economy, is of political nature.

Given that Turkey and the US are NATO allies, any threat to one ally must be regarded as a threat against all members of the alliance. Actually, proceeding from this principle, it is possible to state that the US provision of YPG/PYD with arms absolutely contradicts the spirit of the alliance between Washington and Ankara.

In its turn, the joint military operation of Turkey, Iran and Russia in Idlib is explained by the need to create a de-escalation zone in Syria. These decisive steps have been taken by Turkey, Russia and Iran to resolve the Syrian crisis as soon as possible, while the US provides YPG and PYD – who don’t hide their intention to create a "Kurdish state" in Syria – with arms. And that poses a real threat not only to Ankara and Tehran, but to the entire region.

Touching upon the issue of cooperation between Ankara and Moscow in the defense sphere, it is necessary to take into account the fact mentioned by the Turkish authorities that no country, except Russia, has yet voiced an affordable price for the purchase of modern air defense systems.

Earlier, as it is known, Turkey conducted fruitless negotiations with France and other NATO allies to purchase air defense systems. Therefore, if the NATO partners do not intend to ensure the security of their ally, Ankara has every right to ensure its own security by acquiring arms and defense technologies from other countries.

Finally, if the US says its judicial system is independent and denies the need for extradition of Fethullah Gulen, whose involvement in the attempted coup in Turkey has been proved, then why does Washington doubt and distrust the decisions of the Turkish courts?

And also, why is Washington intentionally deteriorating relations with Ankara because of one employee of the US Consulate General, who is by the way a citizen of Turkey, not the US?

Meanwhile, a US delegation will arrive in Ankara next week to solve the crisis in the relations of both sides.

Irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations and even if the sides resolve the crisis related to the Consulate General employee, the relations between Ankara and Washington are still overshadowed by four unresolved problems, which in the future may lead to more serious consequences.
 
 
16.10.2017
 
 

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