Recep Tayyip Erdogan envisions improving Turkey’s relations with the United States on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation, adopting more conciliatory tones towards Washington.
A few days after the fire he opened in the United States, accusing them of supporting the Kurds, the Turkish president now spoke of cooperation and a “win-win” relationship. “As Turkey, we believe that our common interests with the United States far outweigh the differences of opinion. With this in mind, we wish to further strengthen our cooperation with the new US Government, through a long-term perspective on the basis of mutual benefit. “Turkey will continue to play its role in a worthy manner towards the allied and strategic partnership between the two countries.”, he stated.
US-Turkish relations have been strained over a number of issues in recent years. Last December, Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400s. Ankara has said it wants to improve relations under the new president Joe Biden, but insists that Washington stop supporting Kurdish militias in Syria and accuses it of colluding with fighters it calls “terrorists” who it accuses of executing 13 Turkish soldiers a few days ago in northern Iraq.
The United States has also strongly criticized Turkey for violating human rights and civil liberties, and its new government has called on Ankara to release jailed philanthropist businessman and activist Osman Kavala and fired at the homophobic rhetoric of government officials in the pogrom against student protesters recently. The trial of Turkish state-owned Halkbank for violating sanctions imposed on Iran is set to begin in a New York court in May, possibly paving the way for a severe economic blow to Turkey. In the first official Ankara-Washington contact since Erdogan’s advisor Joe Biden came to power Ibrahim Kalin told US President’s National Security Adviser that the issue of S-400s, discussed by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, should be resolved Mevlüt Tsavousoglu with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Turkey has hired Washington-based law firm Arnold & Porter to help re-enter its F-35 co-production program, which the United States expelled for the S-400.
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