Jan 16 2018

U.S. attitude pushes Turkey into Russia’s arms – Daily Sabah columnist

Washington’s negative attitude towards Ankara will not have a positive impact; on the contrary, it pushes the NATO ally into Moscow’s arms, Beril Dedeoğlu an international relations academic wrote in her column for the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah.

The United States on Thursday announced that Turkey is a country with an “increased security risk,” and urged its citizens to reconsider coming to Turkey “due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions.”

Turkey’s foreign affairs ministry on Friday retaliated by issuing a similar warning for its citizens about travelling to the U.S.

Echoing the Turkish warning, Dedeoğlu said that it was the U.S. which detained Turkish citizens arbitrarily, giving the example of the arrest and trial of Turkish state lender Halkbank’s former manager Hakan Atilla.

Atilla was found guilty on bank fraud charges in relation to a Turkish scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.

“If Turkish people have strong anti-American feelings, there is a reason for it,” Dedeoğu wrote, noting that Turkey is the only country which is both a NATO ally and a member of the Council of Europe that the U.S. has issued a travel warning about.

If the U.S. is pushing Turkey to Russia’s arms deliberately, perhaps to “save” Turkey when the right moment arrives, there is no guarantee whatsoever that this will work, Dedeoğlu said.

“Russia is not the old Russia. Besides, with the growing anti-Americanism in Turkish society, maybe the Turks will not want to be saved by the U.S. after all.”