Aug 20 2019

Turkey and West no longer have basis for strong strategic ties – analyst

The lack of basis for strong strategic ties between Turkey and the West and has led to a deterioration in relations, wrote analyst Simon Waldman, associate fellow at the neoconservative British foreign policy think tank, Henry Jackson Society, in the UAE-based National newspaper.

The West has played a role in the alienation of Turkey, which for decades after signing up as a member of the Council of Europe in 1950, enjoyed good relations with the West, despite major differences during the Cold War era, Waldman wrote.

Turkey’s controversial procurement of the Russian S-400 missile system last month has sparked a debate over the country’s relations with the West, while adding another source of tension to the long line of disputes between NATO and Turkey.

The EU's repeated stalling Turkey’s accession process, a lack of understanding of Turkey’s difficult geostrategic climate and insufficient support during times of crises have all contributed to the current chilly relations between the two sides, the article said.

This has, in turn, turned Turkey eastward, as it pursues is grandiose regional ambitions.

Ankara has set up a military base in Qatar, backs the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in war-torn Syria and has violated sanctions against Iran before the 2015 nuclear deal was signed, despite concerns by Washington and Europe, the article said.

In fact, Ankara has come under increasing criticism for seeing Russia as a reliable option to be used as leverage against the United States.

At this point, Waldman wrote, relations should focus on trade, which is the only way to attain cordial and potentially productive ties with Ankara.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/why-have-relations-between-turkey-and-the-west-deteriorated-so-badly-1.900630