Turkey holds crucial cards as Biden prepares to face off with Russia, China - NEDRET ERSANEL

Turkey holds crucial cards as Biden prepares to face off with Russia, China

“The U.S. approved the permits for the Philippines to buy the T129 ATAK Helicopter from Turkey. A license has been issued for the helicopter, which is produced by TAI and has an engine produced jointly by the U.S.-UK. Washington gave the greenlight to Turkey for the export of six ATAK helicopters to the Philippines during the period when CAATSA sanctions were imposed ”… (16-19 / 05)

“Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced that they will purchase 24 armed drones from Turkey. Thus, Poland will be the first NATO member to purchase armament from Turkey. Bayraktar TB2 armed drones will be delivered next year”… (22/05)

In what time-space dimension do these good news take place in Turkish-American relations? ..


The meetings between the Foreign Ministers and National Security Advisors of the two countries in the hours following the single meeting held between President Erdoğan and U.S. President Biden were about the appointment settings of the meeting to be held at the NATO leaders summit on June 14. As the date approaches, U.S.-Turkey contacts intensify.

The most recent high-level contact was between the Foreign Ministers (Blinken-Çavuşoğlu). The statements made afterwards also had a positive ring to them ...

Blinken: “Today I had the opportunity to talk to Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Continuing cooperation with Turkey, our NATO ally on common priorities, is of great importance ”…

The next contact will be with the visit of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to Turkey. The first visit of the Biden administration to Turkey is bound to be important…

It is clear with which goal Sherman will come to Turkey, particularly with regards to the NATO summit. Because the map is right there; Between May 25 and June 14, the Ankara leg of the tour will take place along the likes of Brussels, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and Hawaii.

The number of issues Ankara-Washington should discuss would make for a very long list, but the first item would be the NATO summit; The importance given to the summit by Biden to Russia-China dynamic, Europe-U.S. relations, the future state of NATO, Turkey's role/place in all of them is even more critical!..

Of course, let no one think for a second that the momentum in the relations between the two countries has started to improve. In fact, Turkey should have been in the U.S. Secretary of State's shuttle tour of the region (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestine)!


The last meeting between the two presidents took place in an atmosphere that was rife with dilemmas, in which the crisis of the recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide was yet another inflammatory dossier to be added to known/piled up bones of contention. That's why the summit date is somewhat curious.

According to observers, attaching high hopes to the session in which these files will be discussed is like wishing for a miracle. Especially when taking into account the fact that the main topics include NATO and U.S-.European ties, which the White House deems more important than all...

Thus, the Ankara-Washington table has become one for bargain chips in the crises within the context of the U.S. ties with Russia, China, 'Europe' and NATO!..


From the day President Biden took office, until the meeting with China in Alaska, the U.S. administration drew first blood from Beijing. From statements, business and diplomatic pressure, human rights rhetoric and sanctions on senior officials. It was all calculated.

When the representatives of the two countries met, they assumed that China was soft enough to kneel. The U.S. State Department was arrogant to the extent of rudeness. However, they received the same response. China did not back down, the U.S. hit a wall and then bounced.

They did the same to Russia until the Icelandic meeting (May 19). By influencing their allies, not only in the U.S. but also in Europe, dozens of Russian diplomats were declared personae non gratae, created border crises, stirred things inside, imposed sanctions, we can name more, but they softened before the Putin-Biden meeting. Nord Stream-2 is a concrete example.

The response of both countries to the U.S. was just as severe. Whatever came their way, they replied in kind, they did not blink.

There were two reasons for this…

First, the U.S. readings of Russia, for example, did not come back with accurate results; Since the Obama presidency, Washington has clinging to the notion that the Putin administration will not last long, that it would be replaced by "something compatible with the West," that is easy to live with. That bubble kept growing along with Russia's isolation and attempts to overthrow the government. As no success was achieved, the bubble burst and Russia lashed out, inflicting losses with its reactions in various parts of the world.

Almost the same example can be applied to China. Beijing continues to respond to U.S. attitude on the ground. The positions it has taken in Central and West Asia, Africa and even the Middle East are hard to miss.

Secondly, another 'fixed' principle of failed simplified readings of Western-Eastern ties that claims  Russian-Chinese 'common understanding' would never work has been shattered. They haven't formed an alliance anyway! As the two countries are sure of how the U.S. perceives them, they acted together in favorable areas. Moscow and Beijing see the United States as a threat to their domestic politics and global interests. Can anyone say they’re wrong to think so? Thus the U.S. inadvertently caused the deepening/expansion of Russian-Chinese relations.


If NATO is to focus more on China as expected, as previous experiences seem to suggest, then America does not have the luxury of keeping countries such as Russia and Turkey on the list of "unfriendly countries," that is, "enemies." In fact, they should worry about how to get the U.S. off of these two states’ list of “enemy countries”!

Russia enjoys special influence in Europe. Turkey holds the cards in the Caucasus-Balkans-Middle East-West/Central Asia. Washington, for all its frivolity, cannot fail to see this.

If Turkey were to flex its muscles to the U.S. in this negotiation atmosphere, it is likely to come out on top.

Skeptical objections such as people asking "excuse me, but are the resistance points of superpowers such as China and Russia the same as Turkey’s?" have become outdated. The issue has more to do with Washington's power…


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