Strategic Relations Between Turkey and the US
The United States and Turkey have a long history of alliance, partnership, and cooperation. Turkey joined NATO in 1952, which further solidified its alliance with the U.S. and the Western world.
The American-Turkish relations are one of the most important national security issues for the United States. Turkey is among the few Muslim countries allied with America in the fight against the Islamic State militant group; it carries even greater importance because it is a Sunni-majority nation aiding the U.S. military against the Sunni extremists. Turkey has allowed the U.S. Air Force to use a base as a major staging area for bombing and surveillance missions against ISIS. A Trump presidency, according to the Arab financier in direct contact with senior Turkish officials, would place that cooperation at risk, particularly since Erdogan, who is said to despise Trump, has grasped more power following a thwarted coup d’état in July, according to Newsweek.
The main point of tension in U.S.-Turkish relations is Ankara’s call for the extradition of the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Gulen is accused by Turkish prosecutors of leading a terrorist organization called FETO, which it says instigated July’s failed coup attempt in Ankara.
The Washington Post also reported that the ties between the two allies (the US and Turkey) have been strained over perceptions in Turkey that the United States is reluctant to arrest and extradite Gulen. Turkey’s is also frustrated by Washington’s backing to Syrian Kurdish militia that are fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and which Ankara considers to be a terrorist group.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s head of international relations, Ayse Sozen Usluer said, “Obviously U.S.-Turkish relations are in turbulence. But turbulence can be a short period, which can be passed through,” she said. “I believe if the U.S. authorities will show sincere cooperation and sincere understanding of Turkish concerns about FETO and why we want Fethullah Gulen himself be returned to Turkey.Turkish-U.S. relations can be much better easily,” reported Voice of America.
Trump more cooperative with Turkey
“Trump will closely collaborate with Turkey on declaring a no-fly zone and safe-zone in the north of Syria, a proposal Turkey has repeatedly raised but was ignored by the Obama administration,” said Donald Trump’s adviser on foreign policy Walid Phares , according to Daily Sabah.
Wishes from Turkey to Donald Trump after Election
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wished a ‘successful future’ to the United States. He said that “The American people have made their choice and a new term begins in the United States with that choice.”
Erdoğan also said, “I wish that American people’s choice will lead to new steps within the scope of fundamental rights and liberties, democracy and developments in our region.”
“I wish a successful future to the United States, interpreting the American people’s choice favorably,” he added.
Turkey Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Wednesday Wednesday morning congratulated Donald Trump on his winning the U.S. presidency. Yıldırım said: “We congratulate Mr. Trump and wish him success”. He added, “I make a clarion call for the new president to extradite Fetullah Gulen, who lives in U.S. territory, as soon as possible.” according to Anadolu Agency.
Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote his official Twitter account “We congratulate Donald Trump, President-elect of the USA. We desire to reinforce with the USA our strategic cooperation based on trust.”
Bekir Bozdağ, Turkish Justice Minister, expressed that; “Nobody can win an election through newspaper headlines, surveys, [and] television. Ultimately, people are voting. What I see, as election strategy, I think American nationals said ‘no’ to the dictating of their will,” at Anadolu Agency’s Editor’s desk. The minister added that whoever the U.S. voters would elect, Turkey will continue to work with that president “because the relations between the U.S. and Turkey are interstate relations,” according to Anadolu Agency.
“We have joint interests, strategic partnerships, [and] there are many agreements between us. The change of presidents will not bring a radical revision of these relations,” Bozdag said.