For a long time, Turkey has been a crucial element of the US strategy in Eurasia and the Middle East, RISS expert Anna Glazova points out in the analytical article of the journal “National Strategy Issues”. By joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization just three years after its establishment, Turkey has become the only Muslim country in the Western military alliance. During the Cold War, Turkey served as both an outpost of the West on the borders with the Soviet Union and a “bridge” for US purposes in the Middle East.
Glazova draws attention to the fact that Trump inherited a “mess” from his predecessor, Barack Obama. “Now the US policy is focused on keeping the Turkish leadership in the orbit of America’s influence and preventing the deterioration of relationship between both countries. Following the principle ‘we are not looking for perfect allies, we are just looking for partners’, Trump refrains from criticizing Turkish domestic policy. When Turkey bought Russian S-400 anti-ballistic missile system, Trump opposed the imposition of sanctions against Ankara and blamed his predecessor for this situation. US leader stated that it was Obama’s administration that prevented Ankara from purchasing American Patriot surface-to-air missile systems,” she explained.
After the end of the Cold War, Turkey changed its approach to international politics. The new approach is based on the regional independence, Glazova underscores. The current Turkish leadership is seeking to end the asymmetry in the US-Turkey relationship. “As a result, Turkey’s foreign policy initiatives are aimed at eliminating ‘unequal’ and ‘unfair’ consequences of relationship with the United States. Ankara is trying to overcome its dependence on the USA. However, if Washington does not develop a new model of partnership with Turkey, the tension between these countries will increase and lead to the serious confrontation,” RISS expert concluded.