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Strained Turkish/US Relations

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

According to a spring 2017 poll, nearly three-fourths of Turks see Washington as a threat to Ankara’s security.

Bilateral relations are the lowest depth in decades. Most Turks believe the Obama administration was behind the aborted July 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan.

He’s outraged over Washington’s support for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria, supplying them with heavy weapons.

He’s reconsidering Turkey’s NATO membership, increasingly shifting his allegiance East. Allying more with Russia harms Washington’s imperial agenda.

Following the arrest of US Istanbul consulate employee Metin Topuz by Turkish authorities, Washington suspended all non-immigrant visas from Turkey indefinitely.

He was charged with ties to US-domiciled opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen Erdogan wants extradited. Washington refuses.

If Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, rumored to be coming, Erdogan will cut diplomatic ties to the Jewish state in retaliation, he said.

After the May 2010 Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara humanitarian ship to Gaza, killing Turkish nationals, he cut relations with Israel, later restored them.

Cutting ties with Washington, along with opposing its imperial agenda would be far more significant.

He won’t go this far, despite saying US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “red line” for Muslims.

In response if it happens, he’ll also convene the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul to discuss what further steps to take.

“Has the US completed everything and only this is left,” he asked?

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon responded, falsely calling Jerusalem “Israel’s capital for 70 years” – recognized by no other countries, America the first if Trump acts in flagrant violation of international law.

Israeli intelligence minister Israel katz tweeted: We don’t take orders or accept threats from the president of Turkey,” repeating the long ago discredited canard about Jerusalem being “the Jewish people’s capital for the past 3,000 years…”

Erdogan blasted Washington for continuing to arm Kurdish YPG fighters, asking:

“Against whom will the US use the truckloads of weapons massed on our borders. Against (ISIS)? There is no (ISIS) there anymore. Against Syria?”

“No, they are now in the same coalition. Iraq? No, they have already invaded there. They will use them against Iran, Turkey or Russia if they dare,” adding:

“No one can lecture Turkey on the war against (ISIS) because Turkey is the only NATO member directly fighting the terrorist group.”

“ISIS terrorists that were set free in the Raqqa operation will be deployed in the deserts of Sinai in Egypt. They will serve there from now on, and we will be monitoring this.”

According to White House spokesman Hogan Gidley, Trump was “clear on this issue. (Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is) not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh Malki called for an emergency Arab League meeting on this issue.

On Sunday, Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Abul Gheit said the move, if taken, will foster regional “fanaticism and violence. (It’ll) benefit the anti-peace Israeli” regime.

It’ll intensify the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, maybe ignite another intifada, causing considerable bloodshed like two previous times.

It’ll be more proof that Washington can never be trusted as an impartial broker, especially when it comes to long denied Palestinian rights and anything to do with Russia.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.