• Wednesday, December 19, 2018

US-Turkey Relations Will Never Be the Same

Discussion in 'Middle East & Africa' started by The SC, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. The SC

    The SC ELITE MEMBER

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    Sunday, 12 August, 2018 - 10:45

    There are only two ways that the diplomatic rift between the US and Turkey can end: a compromise that salvages the relationship as best possible, or a complete rupture with devastating consequences both for Turkey's economy and America's regional strategic interests. Either way, there is no going back to the way things were.

    The arrest in Turkey of American pastor Andrew Brunson nearly two years ago has led to a diplomatic spat that threatens a full-blown economic meltdown in Turkey. Brunson, along with many foreign nationals that were detained in the wake of the failed 2016 coup attempt, has been accused of "supporting terrorism." A deal for Brunson's release seemed likely as Turkish officials traveled to Washington this week, but fell apart apparently over last-minute Turkish demands.

    Meanwhile, tensions have ratcheted up. The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Turkey's interior and justice ministers. Erdogan threatened retaliation and got the support of most of the Turkish opposition. On Wednesday, Stars and Stripes reported that a group of pro-government lawyers in Turkey have filed charges against several US officers at the Incirlik Air Base, accusing them too of ties to terrorist groups. They are demanding all flights leaving the base be temporarily suspended and a search warrant be executed.

    The standoff is partly the accumulation of years of resentment, despite the pretenses of a faithful partnership. Turkey's once-unassailable support among US foreign policy leaders, and in Congress, has been weakened by years of authoritarian creep, a worsening human rights record and cooperation with Russia and Iran in Syria. Turkey's plans for a $2 billion purchase of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missiles, which NATO has said are incompatible with allied systems and restrictions on American use of the Incirlik Air Base, haven't gone down well.

    The feeling is mutual. Erdogan has never quite recovered from his anger at the way his allies seemed to sit on the fence in the hours after an attempted coup was announced in July 2016.

    The Turkish leader is also furious at American support for the Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State in northern Syria. Earlier this year, he threatened American troops with an "Ottoman slap" if the US tried to block Turkey's military incursion into northwest Syria.

    One major source of contention has been the US refusal to turn over the Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a one-time Erdogan ally and now an enemy, whom Erdogan alleges was behind the coup and other attempts to undermine him. Trump's abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal is another sore point; nearly half of Turkey's oil imports come from Iran, and the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran hurts Turkey's economy.

    The Brunson case made all of that impossible to ignore, as US evangelicals took up the cause.

    But "impossible to ignore" is not to say that the Trump administration has become a principled defender of human rights in Turkey. Far from it. Trump, whose name adorns luxury properties in Turkey, expressed only praise for Erdogan when they met in 2017. When Erdogan's supporters and guards attacked protesters in Washington, the affair was handled quietly.

    The administration has been silent on other arrests of US and foreign nationals in Turkey. But it was ready to strike a deal for Brunson's release. The U.S. had already asked Israel to release Ebru Ozkan, a Turkish national who was arrested there on suspicion of aiding Hamas (Israel deported her the day after Trump called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). The Trump administration was also reportedly ready to allow Hakan Atilla, a former top executive of state-owned Halkbank, convicted for violating Iran sanctions, to serve out the rest of his prison sentence in Turkey. The deal was scuppered, reportedly, when Turkey wanted relief on a multibillion-dollar fine against Halkbank and an assurance that any investigations be dropped.

    The US can afford to play a longer game. The June 24 election may have strengthened Erdogan's power further, but he didn't win by a Putin-sized margin. (Erdogan cleared just over 52 percent, and that's if we all agree to ignore the voting irregularities that presumably bolstered his numbers.) Turkey is divided politically, and the longer Erdogan rules by coercion, the more vulnerable he may become, especially if Turkey's economy continues to suffer. As the main barometer of confidence in the country, the lira's decline speaks volumes.

    Even so, a diplomatic solution is clearly preferable to continued escalation. Erdogan is sacrificing the Turkish economy in order to keep Brunson as a bargaining chit. A fractured relationship with the US will also put a strain on Turkey's EU relationships and will give investors, already spooked, even more pause.

    American support for Turkey doesn't crumble in a day. The relationship is baked into ties on multiple levels, both inside and outside government, and for good reason. As Asli Aydintasbas and Kemal Kirisci argue in an April 2017 Brookings paper, however bad it looks, Turkey is crucial:

    Without Turkey, it is difficult to see how a rule-based US-led world order could be sustained in this region, and how a successful policy on containing chaos in the Middle East could be envisioned. Similarly, there are arguably no Muslim-majority nations apart from Turkey that can serve as a bridge with the Western world or achieve the democratic standards, to which Turks have grown accustomed and, inadvertently or not, still expect.

    And yet, it has definitely changed, thanks not so much to national interests, but to failings in leadership. The US will have to settle for something less loyal, less an alliance and more a transactional relationship. But then that seems to define these times pretty aptly.


    (Bloomberg)


    https://aawsat.com/english/home/art...aphael/us-turkey-relations-will-never-be-same
     
  2. CamelGuy

    CamelGuy FULL MEMBER

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    The Ottoman slap
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    How is popularly of Erdogan in Turkey after this confrontation ?
     
  4. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Son,

    When the white man slaps---your children die of hunger and a lack of medicine---.

    Your motherland is a good example---you are old enough to remember the sanctions---.
     
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  5. hussain0216

    hussain0216 ELITE MEMBER

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    The U.S dosent want states to stand up to them, they want ball suckers

    Thats why they like the arabs states

    At some point regardless of the short term pain nations need to stand up for themselves
     
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  6. CamelGuy

    CamelGuy FULL MEMBER

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    We shouldn't allow the west to be burning our countries one by one. Iraq, Syria and Libya should not have happened. Libya was rich by African standards, Iraq was advanced in the middle east. Both burnt by the white man. Turkey is also advanced, they would be happy to burn it.
     
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  7. undertakerwwefan

    undertakerwwefan BANNED

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    Libya and Iraq refused to buy F-16 so America destroyed them so they buy F-16. F-16 is so cool.

     
  8. CamelGuy

    CamelGuy FULL MEMBER

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    It's delivered without AIM-120, without the newest AIM-9X, without JDAM kits, without CFT.

    Downgraded to utter shit, good for nothing but bombing ground targets and taking out soviet-era aircraft
     
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  9. undertakerwwefan

    undertakerwwefan BANNED

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    Iraq won't buy F-16 so America toppled Iraq so Iraq bought F-16. That's my point. It's not a bad plane. But I prefer MiG-29 M / M2 Egypt bought.
     
  10. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    That is true but let us not forget that Turkey has been the most closely aligned country with the same West in the Middle East and Muslim world ever since WW2. Their entire current-day ideology (Ataturk) is also a Western import but that is besides the point.

    Being a NATO member, hosting NATO/US bases, recognizing Israel as the first Muslim country and having closer ties to it than anyone since the Shah in Iran, playing the by far biggest logistical and political role in the anti-Assad activities since 2011, alongside Qatar playing in the hands of the "made in the West" "Arab Spring" with their failed MB project that failed everywhere. Involvement in Libya as well.

    More closely tied to the economic system of the West as well than any other Muslim country.

    As for Iraq who has been the biggest economic and political supporter of Barzanistan/KRG/Northern Iraq if not Turkey (Erdogan)?

    Now that the US has turned against Turkey (most likely temporarily) due to Erdogan's inconsistent policy and different interests in Syria and looking differently at the "Kurdish question", we are supposed to forget everything that happened before that?

    Forget about the West role (we all know about it, the best example of this is the creation of Israel) but can we honestly say that Turkish policies under Erdogan have benefited the Arab world? Is the failed MB project (that failed in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, EGYPT, KSA, Syria and Jordan) beneficial for our development? Are Syrian and Iraqi patriots happy about illegal Turkish bases on Syrian and Iraqi territory?

    That is why no Arab nationalist anywhere in the Arab world looks at Erdogan with favorable eyes. You should take a look at what Syrian patriots have to say about him and Turkey currently. Twitter is flooding with this. An Assad ruled Syria is bad news for Erdogan.

    Anyway Turkey's future is with the West/Europe. Not China 1000's of km away. 100 years of policies will not suddenly be uprooted. There were much greater differences before (Turkish invasion of Cyprus for instance). Those anti-Western lot here hoping that Turkey will suddenly turn into another "resistance axis" nonsense ala Iran are daydreaming.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  11. CamelGuy

    CamelGuy FULL MEMBER

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    Erdogan and Turkey in general got very arrogant and active about in Iraq and Syria in their weak situations, illegal bases etc. This clash with the US was coming eventually and looks like he won't back down which won't do him any good as the US is far stronger whether he likes that or not. He could have established good relations with Egypt, GCC, Iraq. Perhaps not Syria but that's just one country. Instead, he chose to take a hostile approach to nearly everyone which gets someone burnt eventually. He's not a victim, it's his own doing the path he chose and he can still recover from it which he won't do for his imaginary honor/pride.
     
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  12. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    That's my exact point. This is temporarily anyway. Erdogan won't rule forever and whenever the opportunity arrises a pro-Western/EU nationalistic candidate in Turkey will arise and change the political curse. I am quite sure about that.

    An nationalistic Turkey would be a much better partner for the Arab world than some pseudo-Ottoman fantasy.

    There are only 2 ways that Turkey and Iran can gain political influence in the Arab world. One is that pseudo-Ottoman fantasy (Sunni Islamism) and the other is Shia Islamism (Wilyat al-Faqih). Both those options (as proven) are doomed to fail.

    What would be much better, is if relations were mostly purely economic in nature (less potential meddling for weakened states (currently) such as Iraq and Syria) and obviously nationalistic governments will help that.

    Same story with Iran. Before the "Arab" Mullah's ruled Iran, the Shah could only meddle in Northern Iraq (where the Biji Bijis live) as Iranian nationalism does not work in the Arab world (it is alien to us for obvious reasons such as history, culture, language, traditions etc.).

    Both of those scenarios will happen. Islamism as a political tool is also slowly dying in the Arab world and nationalism is once again on the rise everywhere.

    For each war/conflict this development will only increase as people are seeing first hand what political Islamism/political Islam is doing to their countries and lives.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  13. !eon

    !eon SENIOR MEMBER

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    Their relations were never good. Only they displayed it good as long as Turkey pretended secular and pro-US.

    It's time for Turkey to involve in JF-17 III or any other NATO independent program.


    Even before Erdogan, a common Turk knew he would never be part of EU and who is his real friend and real enemy, after Erodgan came into power, Turkish govt also came out of day dreaming.
     
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  14. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    Turkey / Iran / Pakistan belong in Shang Hai Corporation
     
  15. MastanKhan

    MastanKhan PDF VETERAN

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    Hi,

    Indeed---we should not have allowed the US to destroy our countries under the false pretense---.

    3 beautiful countries---all 3 destroyed---civilians murdered---they houses---their heritage---their culture destroyed---. We should be extremely cautious when dealing with the US---. The killing and murdering of a nation lays deep down in the psyche of the americans---. That is a part and parcel of their genetic make---. They come and they destroy nations and its people without any remorse or restraint---just like they destroyed the american indians and annihilated them on their lands---.
     
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