October 9, 2020
As the US braces for November 3 presidential election, countries remain divided in their expectations. Europe having enjoyed excellent relations with the Obama White House no doubt wishes to see Mr. Biden there. Because, although this would not be a replica of the Obama White House there would be parallels. The same goes for Iran, whereas Gulf states have been getting along extremely well with Mr. Trump. Israel would probably prefer a Trump victory but move on regardless of who is in the White House, happy with the balance sheet of the past four years.
Okumaya devam et
July 16, 2019
On July 5, The Atlantic published an article by Thomas Wright, Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. The title was “Trump Couldn’t Ignore the Contradictions of His Foreign Policy Any Longer”. (*)
The article provides interesting insight on the evolution of President Trump’s foreign policy. What attracted my attention more than anything else was the very first paragraph: Okumaya devam et
April 25, 2019
President Hassan Rouhani had called the JCPOA a “golden page” in his country’s history, opening a new chapter in Iran’s engagement with the world. It was hoped that the deal would end decades of hostile relations between Tehran and Washington.
With President Trump that “golden page” has unfortunately turned into a fond memory. With the IAEA regularly reporting that Iran is abiding by its commitments under the JCPOA, the P4+Germany and the international community, with the exception of Israel and US’ Gulf allies, still support the deal. Washington’s reneging on its commitments under the JCPOA will no doubt lead to questions regarding the consistency of US foreign policy. But equally if not more important will be dealing with Mr. Trump’s threat that “anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States”, despite the fact that these new sanctions are not endorsed by the UN. Okumaya devam et
March 11, 2019
At the beginning of the Syrian conflict Russia and Turkey were on diametrically opposite sides. Russia was supporting the regime, the Turkish government the opposition. Nonetheless, Turkish-Russian relations remained on track.
On November 24, 2015 a stunning development changed the picture. Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 military plane for having violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. This was no “accident”. It was a tragic “incident”. Okumaya devam et
January 29, 2018
On May 16, 2017 Presidents Erdogan and Trump had talks in Washington. A few days before the visit I had said:
“…neither Ankara nor Washington can afford a too rocky relationship with too many ups and downs. They need one another and a reasonably steady relationship. So, the uneasy, unhappy alliance will continue.” (*)
I may have been over-optimistic. At present, the two capitals can’t agree even on the gist of a phone call between the presidents. Okumaya devam et
January 15, 2018
On December 28, 2017, the Turkish Embassy in Washington issued a statement which welcomed the decision of the U.S. to resume regular visa procedures by lifting the restrictions applied to Turkish citizens and said that in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, restrictions on visa services applied to American citizens had been lifted simultaneously. This was supposed to be good news for a turbulent relationship. Not quite… Okumaya devam et
January 9, 2017
In early April 2009 Mr. Obama visited Ankara on his first trip abroad as US President. His address to the Turkish Parliament was full of praise for Turkey’s “strong, vibrant, secular democracy”. In May 2013, Prime Minister Erdogan visited Washington. Remarks made by the two leaders at their joint press conference reflected nothing but a cordial and strong relationship. Four years later, we have a different picture (1). Okumaya devam et
August 29, 2016
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2013 President Obama said:
“… And our approach to Egypt reflects a larger point: The United States will at times work with governments that do not meet, at least in our view, the highest international expectations, but who work with us on our core interests. Nevertheless, we will not stop asserting principles that are consistent with our ideals, whether that means opposing the use of violence as a means of suppressing dissent, or supporting the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…”
In fact, this has been US policy for decades. President Obama only stated it clearly. Key elements of his formulation were “highest international expectations”, “core interests” and “asserting principles”.
Vice President Biden’s visit to Ankara matched this definition. Okumaya devam et
August 22, 2016
On April 6, 2009 President Obama addressed the Turkish Parliament (1). His remarks were full of praise for Turkey. He said:
“… This is my first trip overseas as President of the United States. I’ve been to the G20 summit in London, and the NATO summit in Strasbourg, and the European Union summit in Prague. Some people have asked me if I chose to continue my travels to Ankara and Istanbul to send a message to the world. And my answer is simple: Evet — yes. Turkey is a critical ally. Turkey is an important part of Europe. And Turkey and the United States must stand together — and work together — to overcome the challenges of our time…”
On May 16, 2013 PM Erdogan was in Washington. Following their talks at the White House, the President and the PM held a joint press conference. Again, the President heaped praise on Turkey and the Prime Minister (2). He said:
“It is a great pleasure to welcome my friend, Prime Minister Erdogan, back to the White House…
“This visit reflects the importance that the United States places on our relationship with our ally, Turkey, and I value so much the partnership that I’ve been able to develop with Prime Minister Erdogan…” Okumaya devam et
June 6, 2016
On May 24, 2016, Turkey’s new Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım introduced his government’s program in the Parliament. Government programs hardly get any public attention because they routinely reiterate lofty principals, announce visionary policies and contain endless promises. This is Turkey’s 65th government. Had commitments by successive governments been fulfilled, Turkey would have been in the 22nd century today. Okumaya devam et