US Turkey relations, on the verge of new era…


Amna Malik

For several years, there has been a significant shift underway in U.S strategy toward the Middle East, where Washington has consistently sought to avoid combat. Once we have a glimpse of the historical perspective of relations between Turkey and US, the mutual ties between the U.S and Turkey were formalized with the 1947 Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement. This agreement reflected the Truman doctrine through which the U.S offered support to democratic nations. Turkey joined NATO in 1952, which further solidified its alliance with the U.S and the Western world. During the Korean War, Turkey supported the United States and its NATO allies by sending three Turkish brigades to the warzone and throughout the Cold War Turkey remained a strong U.S partner. This alliance then continues into the present day. In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama chose Turkey as the destination of his first bilateral visit as president. That same year, the U.S and Turkey drafted the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC), which furthered bilateral cooperation on technology. After the shaky relations for many years, The United States is now compelled to seek accommodation with Turkey, a regional power in its own right, based on terms that are geopolitically necessary for both. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan received a warm welcome from Donald Trump when he arrived in Washington. Relations between the both countries remained stiff reaching a new crisis point after Ankara’s decision to invade Kurdish held parts of Syria last month. Few days back a new crisis erupted after Turkey tried to deport a US citizen believed to be a member of Islamic State to Greece. US President Donald Trump has lauded his relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the leaders met to overcome mounting differences ranging from policies towards Syria to Ankara’s purchase of a Russian missile defence system. Lavishing praise over the authoritarian Turkish leader at a press conference, Trump said he was a big fan of the president and the two had wonderful and productive encounter. The White House later said in a statement that in order to make progress on other issues battering bilateral relations it was vital to resolve the S-400 issue. Trump also added that the two sides would talk about a potential deal to boost trade to $100 billion nearly four times current levels. Erdogan said that in six months to two years, Turkey could repatriate about 1 million refugees now in Turkey into a safe zone established in northern Syria. The zone was established after Turkey launched a military offensive into Syria on October 9. The Turkish government also hopes to resettle about 2 million of the 3.6 million Syrian war refugees. They are also positive enough to attract international donors to assist. Both Democrats and Republicans have argued Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria was a betrayal of the Kurdish forces that helped American troops to fight the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Trump dismissed those concerns too. Given the changing nature of Turkey’s political regime and the United States priorities in the Middle East perhaps it’s time for to revamp relationships between Turkey and United States. Some of the expert says that For Turkey, the benefits of a stronger relationship with Russia and other non western powers may seem appealing given the growing perception of rise of the “Eurasian” Century. Perhaps it’s time to move beyond nostalgia and for us to think about the US Turkey relationship as less of an alliance and more of a strategic transactional partnership. Once we talk about relations between Turkey and Russia, Russia has been classified as a strategic partner not an ally to Turkey, and cooperation with Russia is and will remain for the foreseeable future especially important to Turkey with regards to Energy, Trade, and the Syrian conflict. US and Turkey needs to seen their relations in a more diversified way in order to avoid any apprehensions and fears.

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