Contradictions between Ankara and Washington will not subside
Before the Biden-Erdogan summit on June 14, 2021, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken summarized Washington s policy on the following points: “Ankara must remain tied to the West” and “It is necessary to provide conditions for Turkey to join the United States position on some important issues.”
The question of which political instrument will be used to tie Turkey to the West and with which instrument it will be on the same side with the United States on critical issues remains relevant at the present time? As a NATO partner, Turkey for America, as well as for other advanced members of the bloc, is an “anchor” in the development of any strategic plans due to its excessive political independence with a claim to a regional leader.
For the United States, Ankara s membership in NATO is an imaginary guarantee that it will not experience a shift in the axis of political coordinates and remain within the framework of the neoliberal economic system. But is everything in line with the expectations of the White House? Turkish-American relations are currently going through the most critical period in their history. The US thinks that as long as NATO -function-s, it will be able to control the member states of the alliance to a greater´-or-lesser extent. Nevertheless, there is a wide range of problems, ranging from supporting the Kurdish formations of the United States in their economic interests and ending with the implementation of regional policies that run counter to Turkey s national interests.
Despite serious problems of this magnitude, the United States is determined to keep Turkey in the North Atlantic alliance. Oddly enough, Washington maintains political plans for Ankara regardless of the composition of its government, of who has political weight.
The White House s hopes, on the one hand, are justified, since the leading parties, from the Justice and Development Party to the Republican Nationalist Party, from the People s National Party to the right-wing IYI -;--;-party (the so-called “Good Party”), have two general and fundamental questions in the agenda of all parties: NATO membership and commitment to a free market economy. Nevertheless, the president of the still parliamentary republic has significant weight in a number of political decisions. His decision, of varying degrees of rationality, as the head of a NATO member state and, thereby, a partner of the United States, is characterized by the ambiguity of relations between the Middle East leader and Washington. Military operations in Iraq and Syria, the purchase of “unwanted” weapons and criticism of the post-war world system during his speech in Africa was Erdogan s initiative to undermine the authority of the United States.
The Middle East under the complete control of Ankara is not beneficial to Washington. US interference in Turkey s plans naturally arouses Erdogan s indignation. The split of NATO on this basis will happen sooner´-or-later. What conclusions can Turkish high political society draw? It is likely that Turkey s policies over the past few years will isolate the country from the Western world.