Dec 28 2017

U.S. should prevent “Ankara becoming junior partner to Moscow” - analyst

Turkey risks finding itself a “junior partner to Moscow” if neither Ankara nor Washington take the steps necessary to reassert their relationship, Atlantic Council senior fellow Aaron Stein said.

“Turkey’s defeat in northern Syria and concurrent changes in domestic Turkish politics now incentivise Ankara to work through Moscow and demonise the West,” Stein wrote for security website War on the Rocks.

“The United States should also accept that the Turkish leadership is paranoid, inward-looking, and is not executing a linear or coherent policy vis-à-vis Russia. However, Ankara becoming a junior partner to Moscow is also not in America’s interests either.”

Turkey’s actions suggested that some in the government may even believe that the United States was behind the July 2016 failed coup attempt, Stein said.

“The willingness to test the outer boundaries of this alliance suggests that elements of the AKP elite actually believe in the grand conspiracy,” he said.

“They really believe Washington is working to undermine Turkey, perhaps going as far as to sponsor a coup to overthrow (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan.”

One important turning point in the bilateral relationship between Turkey and the United States could be the purchase of S-400 ground-to-air missiles from Russia, Stein said.

“The stakes are high: If Turkey and Russia finalise an agreement, the United States could impose sanctions on its NATO ally, an outcome that would seriously undermine bilateral relations.”

 

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