US President Donald Trump is responsible for the chaos in relations with Turkey. It tolerated Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 defense system (S-400) and has now come to impose sanctions against it, but President-elect Joe Biden has a chance to mend this important relationship.
This is stated in An article by the researcher In the European Council on Foreign Relations, Asli Aydantashbash in the Washington Post indicated that Turkey was once a strong ally of the United States, and made a major strategic mistake by buying the Russian defense system incompatible with NATO weapons.
The outgoing president promised to cover Turkey from congressional sanctions
The researcher said that, by virtue of having covered US-Turkish relations over the past decade, she was surprised to see the United States making a little fuss about the S-400 system in 2017 or 2018, as Trump’s bilateral meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revolved around praising the latter. Trump’s focus has been on securing the release of Andrew Bronson, an evangelical pastor imprisoned in Turkey.
She added that Trump has publicly embraced Turkey’s arguments for purchasing the S-400 system, provided cover from congressional sanctions, and promised behind the scenes to take the pressure off.
When Trump spoke about this issue at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019, he repeated the Turkish talking points about why this Russian system was bought, and focused on Ankara’s negotiations on the American Patriot missile with former President Barack Obama, saying that Erdogan wanted to buy Patriot, but they didn’t sell it to him so he went to Russia, made a deal to buy the S-400 and paid a lot of money. Trump promised Erdogan that his administration would not seek sanctions.
Had it not been for Trump, Erdogan would not have bought the Russian missiles
The researcher went on to say: If anyone were in Erdogan’s place, he would conclude that Washington tacitly agreed to buy him the Russian defense system, adding, “Had it not been for Trump, I doubt that the Turkish leader would have bought the S-400.”
After it was too late in late 2019, Congress moved to put pressure on Trump, which forced the latter to invite Erdogan and congressional leaders to a partially televised session to address the problem at the White House, with the US president remaining “neutral” during the heated debate.
But now, the researcher says, with sanctions finally imposed and Trump heading out, the Biden administration will have to set clear criteria to restore relations with Turkey that will encourage Erdogan to agree to a face-saving solution that allows Ankara to keep the S-400 system, or seize it in a warehouse.
She added that a gradual “reset” should begin with the settlement of the Russian missile problem, human rights reforms in Turkey, and the development of a common policy in Syria, noting that this would allow the two countries to save what remained of NATO, keep Turkey inside it, and pave the way for a compromise solution in the crisis. Eastern Mediterranean.