The American administration did what they always have done when they don’t want to engage openly in certain matters.
They leaked to the press what they wanted everyone to know but could not say openly.
I’m talking about the S-400 offer made to Turkey that would see Ankara delivering the S-400 batteries it purchased from Russia to Ukraine, in return it will be returned to the F-35 program from which it was removed.
This is the offer that was leaked.
It is obvious that it is an unreasonable offer, but it is also clear that the American administration used the process that began with the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an opportunity to twist Ankara's long-untwisting arm and made such a move.
I talked about these Western reports with my Ankara circles who were in contact with the U.S. administration, but there was no response that denied or confirmed the claim.
As far as I know, such a proposal must have been communicated to Ankara in one or more of the talks held after the start of the Ukraine war, however, not in an official capacity.
Let me stress again that the U.S. administration sees the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a golden opportunity to close the ranks between the allies. President Joe Biden made this clear in his statement before going to the NATO summit when he said the following:
“There’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it. And we’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it..”
The part that concerns Turkey in this is that there is an effort to twist Ankara's arm when it comes to protecting its bilateral ties with Russia for various reasons, including economic concerns.
Even the most absurd proposals can be imposed under the pretext of war.
Before the war started, President Erdoğan summarized it as “We will neither give up on Ukraine, nor on Russia”, and reiterated this Ankara stance several times.
What’s interesting is despite the fact that their country is occupied, the Ukrainian administration, led by Zelenskyy, appreciates Turkey's efforts to contribute to peace efforts by keeping the channels of dialogue open with its facilitating mission, which does not aim to escalate things with Russia, , while the U.S. administration does not support such a mission.
It is obvious that the American administration and its institutions who are taking advantage of this period, want to push Turkey into a passive position similar to that of the cold war period, and to shatter Ankara's determination to pursue an active Ankara-based foreign policy, which prioritizes its sovereign rights.
In a way, just like in the cold war period when the instructions were: “You have to do whatever we say, you have to play the role given. Nothing more, nothing less.”
We know from the discussions held in international circles since the beginning of the Russian occupation in Ukraine that the answer to the question "Where is the world heading?" is most likely: "Towards a bipolar world like in the Cold War."
So, how will Ankara respond to this American approach?
President Erdogan must have calculated in advance what Biden would say and what kind of demands he would face during the bilateral meeting in Brussels.
Noting that the two leaders will meet in Brussels, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın's post in Turkish and English on his social media accounts can be interpreted as a pre-declared statement, "This will be our position":
“The world cannot afford another cold war. It will be costly for everyone. The Ukraine war has already caused enough pain, suffering & killing. It must stop. Turkey will continue its efforts to end this war. Peace is hard but not impossible. We all have to believe in it.”