Thursday, June 03, 2010
Turkey and the United States
I've added this comment:
This trend has been noticeable for the last several years, as Turkey emerges as a Eurasian power in its own right. The Gaza flotilla incident should not have been a wake-up call. Ankara and Washington had already clearly diverged in terms of Russia policy; while the U.S. under the Bush administration tried to contain the Russian resurgence in the post-Soviet space, Turkey now has a booming partnership with Moscow. Turkey's outreach in the Balkans has tended less to clash with U.S. interests, but Turkey is a much greater proponent of engagement with Serbia and Ankara sees Serbia as the key to regional development, not the obstacle. And of course Turkey is working to integrate Iran rather than to isolate it.
Washington policymakers, for the most part, have been stuck in 1985, still seeing Turkey as a lonely Western outpost facing the Soviet threat--and there is no returning to that supposed "golden age" of the U.S.-Turkey relationship. Turkey has discovered it has options--and because it wants "zero problems" with neighboring states like Iran and Russia, it is adopting a more pragamtic approach in its foreign policy.