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Turkish-American relations

İhsan Aktaş | Article number 1

datetime02.12.2017 15:53 visitor

The world's system was shared out in World War I and World War II, as the losers and winners were determined. Although the wars seemed to be among European states, what was divided and distributed was the Ottoman Empire's territory. After World War II, the winds of the Cold War began to blow. In the Yalta Conference, while the world was assumed to consist of two poles and hence being divvied up, Turkey remained among the Western bloc. This was a correct decision because the Westernization process that started in the Ottoman era reached a certain point with the Republic and Turkey starting to consider itself a Western state.

No matter to what extent Turkey is considered a part of the Western bloc, the pressure exerted by Russia on Turkey has not lifted, and now and then, Russia has put forward a request claiming land from Turkey. For the European pact, Turkey has been an important resistance point on the borders of Russia, and had preserved its importance until the end of the Cold War. Although an important economic relationship has not developed between Turkey and the U.S., the American military assistance and the aid given was of noticeable importance for Turkey at that time, to the extent that U.S. aid to Greece was a topic of public discussion.

During the Korean War, Turkey deploying troops to Korea paved the way for Turkey's acceptence in NATO. Hence, Turkey became not only a member of the Western pact, but at the same time became a member of NATO, with a Western military pact.

The North Atlantic Treaty against the Warsaw Pact, and its noteworthy country became Turkey, and even today Turkey boasts one of the biggest militaries in NATO.

After the Cold War, the U.S. felt alone in the world and considered itself the sole ruling power. In a way, the U.S. was left idle in the world. After the Sept. 11 attacks, without taking U.N. decisions into consideration, the U.S. single-handedly occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. As was during the Cold War, the U.S. did not heed the principles of righteousness in its occupation of a country. America could easily occupy any country it wanted to for its benefits and geopolitical interests, and it did.Until the war in Syria, a single-pole world continued and the U.S. continued doing exactly as it wanted. While Syrian war dragged on, it became obvious then that no super power in the world has the power to single-handedly plot a game and execute it. The U.S. got a chance to test and see this. As the super powers could not plot games the way they used to, countries such as Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia became very important. Russia, which possesses important military power, took its place on the stage and left the world bemused.

U.S.-Turkish relations turned sour due to different views regarding the civil war in Syria. In addition, it is customary for Western countries to meddle in Turkey's internal affairs, but the U.S. went too far by having close ties with a group that went as far as to physically attempt a coup in Turkey, the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). This close relationship with the U.S. was the second issue that disrupted relations with the U.S. Since political visions are man-made, the administration in the U.S. is witnessing this step by step. It is not in the favor of the U.S. to stay allied to a terrorist organization in the Middle East. After the defeat of the Western organization, which is no more than an urban legend – Daesh – the U.S. cited with a terrorist organization will be a problem in the long run for a democratic country like the U.S.

Today, an opportunity has come to existence, even if a small one, to reach a compromise and to even enlarge that base for further compromise. From today onward, Turkey should unite in its effort to enter the remedial path of setting its U.S. ties on the right track be it through U.S. mission representatives, the aristocratic Turks in the states, Turks who have become U.S. citizens and universities, especially through diplomacy carried out behind doors by Israel and Qatar. The U.S. administration is receptive to effect, hence, until we strive collectively as hard as those who have worked to break ties between Turkey and the U.S., no one should consider themselves as having done their part. As a nation, we like vigilance, and now with combined efforts, we need to legitimize our nation's connection to the U.S. using the most successful methods.