What worries the Turkish government is not only Washington’s support to the Kurds, but the possible creation of an administrative Kurdish region within Syria, about which Ankara and Damascus have serious objections.
Ankara asks for Moscow’s support
A few hours after Bozdag’s statements, there came the announcement of the surprise visit, to Moscow, of Hulusi Akar, leader of the Turkish Armed Forces and of the head of Turkish MIT secret service, Hakan Fidan. This visit and its announcement are believed to be a clear message from Turkey to Washington that anything that concerns Syria will be discussed with Moscow, since the U.S. support the Kurds.
Photo (Library): AP
Syrian borders began dividing Turkey and the U.S.
The crisis that has emerged has great potential to alienate Turkey from the U.S. Let’s say it clearly. The source of the crisis stems from the choice of the U.S. government. Between the ally Turkey and the Kurdish movement that is a branch of the terrorist PKK, the U.S. chose the Kurds. At the point which we have reached, we can say that the border between Syria and Turkey is actually beginning to divide the U.S. with Turkey, says Hurriyet’s political analyst Sedat Ergin.
U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson says the States will continue their co-operation with Turkey in the fight against terrorism. “We understand Ankara’s concerns about the PKK”. He, however, avoided talking about U.S. support to the Kurds and did not refer to any change of plans that Turkey insists on demanding.
The U.S. – Turkey open fronts
A key factor of mistrust and trouble in American-Turkish relations has been the attempted coup of July 15, 2016, behind which, according to the Turkish government, is Imam Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in Pennsylvania, since 1999. Ankara is requesting its extradition to Turkey, but, so far the, U.S. authorities have not made any move towards this direction.
The problems increased when the Turkish authorities arrested Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen who was working at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul. He was accused of dealing with Gullen.
After tensions and statements both countries suspended issuing visas for their citizens who wanted to travel to the U.S. and Turkey.
Another issue that concerns the two countries a lot, is the capture by the U.S., of Turkish-Iranian entrepreneur Reza Zarrab. He had close ties with Erdogan ministers. Later, American authorities arrested in the United States Halbank-state bank manager Hakan Atilla, who was convicted of a violation of the embargo against Iran, with the result that Turkey may face U.S. sanction. Zarrab gave them most of the information on how to breach the embargo.
In 2003, too, the two countries’ relations had reached rock bottom. On March 1st of that year, the Turkish Parliament did not allow the U.S. to use Turkish territory to open a front against Saddam Hussein in the Second Iraqi War.
Three days later, American commandos invaded Iraq’s Suleymaniya and captured 11 Turkish commandos after first covering their heads (of the Turks) with sacks.
Turkish reports of the time, spoke of the greatest humiliation of the Turkish Armed Forces since the founding of the Republic of Turkey.
Since then, relations have gone through several phases; today they are once again strained, testing diplomatic limits…/IBNA
Main Photo: Getty images