Deteriorated US Relations with Turkey

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Deteriorated US Relations With Turkey

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Since taking office, Trump regime relations with EU countries, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Canada, Mexico, and Turkey deteriorated – along with alienating Palestinians more than his predecessors.

His self-styled art of the deal failed internationally by bullying, pressuring and demanding, how not to win friends and influence people, how to turn allies into adversaries.

Turkish/US relations are greatly strained. Erdogan’s ties to Washington deteriorated significantly in the wake the 2016 aborted coup attempt to unseat him.

He blamed the plot on ex-pat cleric Fethullah Gulen, living in Pennsylvania. Washington refuses to extradite him. No evidence suggests his involvement in what happened.

Erdogan’s rapprochement with Russia and normalized ties with Iran infuriated Trump regime neocon hardliners.

He’s furious about US support Kurdish YPG fighters in northern Syria. Last year, his chief advisor Yalcin Topcu said “(i)t is time to reconsider our membership in NATO.”

Turkey’s military in the alliance is second only to America in size. His threatened pullout was bluster, but it shows a strained relationship with Washington.

Detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson on allegations of involvement in the 2016 coup attempt, along with Trump’s doubling of tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum to 50% and 20% respectively widened the rift between both countries. 

Bilateral political and economic friction between, along with internal factors, caused the country’s currency to drop to a record low, down nearly 50% this year, around half its year ago value, further aggravating bilateral relations.

On Tuesday, Erdogan retaliated against Trump regime harshness, saying “(t)here is (a US) economic attack against Turkey.”

“Previously, such things were done more secretly, and now they are coming at us openly. We can do two things, economically and politically.”

“From an economic position, we take actions, our Finance Ministry and Treasury are working day and night. In addition, we will boycott electronic goods from the United States.”

He urged Turkish citizens to exchange dollars to support and protect the country’s lira.

After meeting with Sergey Lavrov in Ankara, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Melvet Cavusoglu said “(t)he era of bullying must end.”

“If the US wants to continue being a reputable country, it cannot do so with these impositions. We are against the US or any country imposing sanctions.” Lavrov responded calling sanctions “unlawful and illegitimate.”

Last week, the Trump regime imposed illegal sanctions on Turkey’s ministers of justice and internal affairs, citing “serious human rights violations” – an unpunished US specialty, Erdogan as well a notorious  violator, notably against independent journalists and regime critics.

Both countries prefer resolving differences diplomatically. Hardline Trump regime policies seek dominance over other nations, cooperative relations often unattainable.

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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.