Monday, December 16, 2013

Is Turkey America's Trusted Ally?

By Namo Abdulla - for Rudaw

Washington, D.C - Ahead of his November visit to the U.S., Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu wrote an article about U.S.-Turkey relations.

"The partnership between the United States and Turkey is value-based," he wrote in Foreign Policy. 

This year, Turkish foreign policy has not really been one of “zero problems” with its longtime NATO ally, the United States. Firstly, Turkey continues to have strained relations with Israel, despite Obama Administration’s mediation efforts to mend ties between the two nations.

Despite being a NATO member, Turkey announced a decision in September to purchase long-range missile defense systems from China, angering the U.S. And despite Turkey’s aggressive push for regime change in its neighbor, Syria, the U.S. has been reluctant to take military actions against the Arab country’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

So where does the U.S. currently stand in its relations with Turkey, under the Islamist-leaning Prime Minister Erdogan?

As much of the so-called “Arab Spring” is unwinding, can Turkey pursue an entirely independent policy in the Muslim world? Joining the discussion :

- Gönül Tol, the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies. She is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

 - Ömer Taşpınar, a scholar at the Brookings Institution specializing in Turkey, the Middle East and Kurdish nationalism. He is a professor at the National War College.

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