Possible scenarios about the future of Turkey-US ties - MEHMET ACET

Possible scenarios about the future of Turkey-US ties

Four weeks have passed since the U.S. November 3rd election results crystallized.

The question we asked four weeks ago right after it became clear that Joe Biden had won the election is still valid today.

That question was the following:

What type of atmosphere and developments await Turkey-U.S. ties in the new era?

The day after it became clear that Biden was going to take the helm, Vice President Fuat Oktay, who we posed this question to, talked about a transition process and hinted that the answer to this question would be delayed.

For now, that transitional period continues.


In circles dealing with these issues, we see that the view that looks at the Biden era as a third Obama term has many adherents.

According to this scenario, we can immediately picture what an Obama term might look like and come to certain conclusions about the direction in which Turkish/American ties will proceed.

However, in the intervening four years, more water has flowed under the bridge and this still makes it difficult to make clear predictions for the future for the time being.

The Biden team adopted the slogan "America is back" for the new era to come.

It is clear that a reference is made in reference to the foreign policy Trump has adopted in the last four years.

We will be faced with the question who will the Trump era be bookended after acting on the view that America's role as the world police cost the country dearly, questioning the security umbrella over Europe and the Far East, and regarding the money spent on the Middle East as dollars gone to waste?

The slogan "America is back" is an invitation to show up again on the international affairs stage, contrary to the view that encourages the U.S. to return to its backyard.

So, what will America being back hold in store for Turkey?

Four weeks after it became clear he had won the elections, Joe Biden has still not given any clear signs as to how he will act towards Turkey.

He only mentioned Turkey in one statement made in an interview with the New York Times:

"If Iran will get a nuclear bomb, it will result in a tremendous pressure on Saudi, Turkey, Egypt and others to develop their own nuclear weapons."

This is all he said.

Over the past four weeks, this was the only sentence Biden had uttered about Turkey.

Speculations and probabilities abound about whether newly-elected Biden will act towards Turkey as he did when he was Vice President or will he act in accordance with the statements he made during his candidacy for president.

Meanwhile, if we were to take it as a harbinger of what’s to come in the new era, we can look at the statement made to Hurriyet by Joel D. Rayburn, the new U.S. Special Envoy for Syria.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın told reporters after the talks that Rayburn had said "the U.S. would like to see the Turkey/Syria border secured. We are not after a terror corridor."

Does the following statement, in a sense, carries within it the meaning? "Turkey does not plan to act in a way that would reverse the gains obtained through its operations in Syria."

Yes, such an interpretation can be surmised.

But this could also be an early comment.

Because the senior-level names will determine or clarify the real policy on this issue.


Last week at the NATO summit, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made harsh accusatory statements against Turkey.

Pompeo's words were seen as a sign of what the new era will be like.

But I do not share this opinion.

As a lame duck who’s spending his final weeks as Secretary of State, Pompeo’s attitude can only be attributed to his "semi-retired" state.

This can also be attributed to the fact that during the presidency of Trump, he was unable to take the anti-Turkey steps he wanted.

On top of that we can also add that it could be seen as an effort to get the support of the Greek lobby for his prospective political career calculations.

That's why I think we should look at what the newly appointed secretary of state will say rather than what Pompeo did.


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