What will Joe Biden’s relations with Turkey be like? - NEDRET ERSANEL

What will Joe Biden’s relations with Turkey be like?

If there is a strong likelihood that the Joe Biden-led U.S. administration is first going to adopt a stance against Russia with respect to foreign policy, and renew relations with the European Union by reviving the “transatlantic alliance,” can we predict what its Turkey-related policies will be “within this scope”? It is obvious that Washington will not have as close a rapport with Ankara as Donald Trump did. However, the degree of distance it will put between itself and Turkey is significant.

As the U.S. rebuilds relations with Europe, will it resume its “intimate ties” like in the World War II and Cold War period, which is oft-quoted, or will it introduce new rules of conduct based on the conditions of the new global order?

If that is the case, then how will its relations with Turkey take shape according to these rules of conduct?

In other words, the U.S. is going to adopt a more overt stance against Russia and before China, it is going to rebuild Europe based on this, it is going to hold NATO subject to “reform” for compliance, but will it ignore how Turkey will be approached in relation to all these countries and international institutions?

The EU Leaders’ Summit, which discussed sanctions against Turkey, reviewed the introduction of these matters as well! As we are engrossed in our own troubles, naturally, we did not interpret these outputs.

The EU Summit, which was held at a time Brexit negotiations with the U.K. are heatedly being discussed and dragged into dead-ends, and on the East wing, relations with Turkey are souring both with the U.S. and the EU, was a session that paved the way for relations with Biden-led U.S.

The rivalry between Germany and France for EU leadership was at the center of the debate. Final results concerning relations with the U.S. were postponed until the next meeting; in other words, when Biden takes up his post in the Oval Office – and will perhaps attend in person. However, NATO officially gathered and held a joint press conference with the EU for the first time.

Let us say Germany won in the “Chariots of Fire,” the race between Paris and Berlin. While France wants Europe to develop an autonomous foreign policy and security understanding, Germany demanded that this defense be made within the “new NATO.” Eventually it was accepted. Revived NATO will take the lead together with a Berlin-led EU.

This means new stripes for a stronger Germany within NATO. It also signifies loosening the policies of the European order that was established after the second great war to prevent Germany from repeating its “bad habits.”

Making such statements for Europe means shaking the cemented mentality. It’s difficult to understand this, let alone accept it.

Despite the vast amount of data, it might be more beneficial to take a look at what German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at the foundation anniversary of “Bundeswehr” (the Armed Forces).

“Europe will not be as important for the U.S. as it used to, even during the Joe Biden term. I see our countries have a mutual responsibility and duty: a more powerful role for the German leadership in Europe and Berlin in NATO!”

As a matter of fact: “Our troops have the right to be equipped with the best equipment this country has to offer to enable them to fulfill the duty given to them by the political field.”

Interesting, is it not?

Let us continue…

This is exactly what the U.K.’s exit from the EU signifies. This is exactly what the laxation of Turkey’s EU relations means. This is what the increased economic crisis and military weakness of a series of European countries, internal conflicts, the pandemic, etc. all signify.

Additionally, we have Russia on one side, checking on its old borders and trying to tempt once again through projects with Germany (Nord Stream 2), and we have China on the other side, which is spread across European ports through spectacular economic promises, and by reaching as many European countries as possible through the London-Beijing line.

While this is roughly the case…

What does Turkey signify for the new transatlantic alliance?

Evaluating the results of the last EU summit, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu says: “There are matters on which we could not reach an agreement with Germany. We do not take everything it says into consideration. However, Germany truly has a distinct stance in Europe. This is not in relation to Turkey alone. It is in relation to Europe’s future. Thus, we appreciated Germany’s attitude in the last summit. I said this at the NATO meeting as well.”

Let us find out what happened at the NATO meeting in question through former French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine’s complaints, which drew attention in Europe: “I am surprised about the European ministers’ lack of support for French ideas in NATO. Europeans are in a state of schizophrenia [Recall Macron’s “NATO’s brain death” remarks]. The alliance is under U.S. influence. I saw that our ideas received no response in the NATO and France-Germany bilateral meetings. Paris was able to receive support from only seven out of 30 NATO-member countries. NATO believes that nothing can be done without Turkey. Biden will not be anti-Turkey. However, compared to Trump, he will be more indifferent towards Turkey.”

This should capture our attention.

These quotes cannot be considered proof that the U.S. administration will treat Turkey well. Perhaps, “Even better than expected.”

Yet, while the U.S.-Europe-NATO triangle is being drawn with new ink, there must be a final objective. That objective gives them no other choice but to come knocking on Ankara’s door.

The crucial matter is whether Ankara will answer the door this time. Because they sneak in even if you only slightly part it.


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