May 18, 2019, 4:20 PM
News Code: 83318669
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Strategic partnership between Washington, Ankara in limbo

Tehran, May 18, IRNA - A series of political-security differences between Turkey and the US have led to the collapse of their strategic alliances and, ultimately, the US sanctions and economic pressures against Ankara.

For decades, the strategic partnership between Washington and Ankara seemed to be an enduring theme. Even the diplomatic disagreements between them were considered a kind of safety valve, which, in the meantime, was characterized by political and military disagreements such as Washington's refusal to accept Turkey's request to deliver Fethullah Gülen, the trial of Reza Zarrab, the US economic conflict with Turkey, and, devaluation of Turkey's national currency, tensions between Ankara and Washington in northern Syria, and eventually the signing of a S400 missile purchase contract from Russia led to economic pressure. It now seems that their strategic ties have deteriorated, and the United States has decided to grant pressure and sanctions on its allies.

The US' negative response to request for Gülen's extradition, which the Turkish government called him the main accused of leading the coup in 2016, led to cold relations between the two sides.

On the contrary, the Turkish government's encounter with thousands of defendants cooperating with the coup leaders provoked a lot of criticism on the part of the West, which made Ankara's relations with some Western capitals colder.

After the coup d'état of July 2016, the Turkish president accused some Western and regional governments of supporting the coup. Another issue was the arrest of an Iranian-Turkish businessman in the United States on charges of violating the sanctions laws against Iran, which Erdogan's role was raised in circumventing the US sanctions during the trial of Reza Zarrab.

Arrest of an American priest in Turkey has become a matter of further dispute between the two sides.

Andrew Branson was an American priest arrested after the Turkish coup and the deterioration of his situation in prison, and then the insistence of Trump for his release, led to a serious confrontation in the summer of 2018.

The two countries' diplomatic and political controversy resulted in economic sanctions. At the same time, the US doubled import tariffs for steel and aluminum from Turkey. The US economic strike against Turkey showed its flares in the stock market and the depreciation of its national currency which the value of lire against dollar dropped by 20 percent in August.

America's support for Kurdish armed groups in Syria is another major cause of dispute. After the start of the Syrian crisis, the American and Turkish governments have been trying to contribute to this war by escalating the crisis. Although the look of Turkey was more security-oriented and the US more domination- oriented.

The tension between Ankara and Washington in northern Syria began with threats and intimidation of the proxy forces on both sides. The Kurdish Syrian troops that were present on the northern border of Syria dominated the northern strip of Syria on the border with Turkey by equipping and supports made by the United States and using the critical situation in the country.

Turkey's attempts to stifle the 'people's Protection units (YPG) ', which Ankara calls terrorists, has caused the two sides to face serious disagreements.

As a result, it was a start for the tensions between Turkey and the United States in Syria, because for Turkey, the presence of Kurdish forces on the border with the country is insecurity and empowering the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

So, Turkey launched an aggression campaign on January 20, 2017, targeting the destruction of the US-backed Kurdish groups, and launched an operation called the 'Olive Branch' in the Afrin area of northern Syria; The city where the YPG controlled since 2012.

The president's warning to Turkey and the country's economic threat can be attributed to the inciting of the hardline figures of the cabinet of Trump, in particular Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton.

Over the past two years, other issues have also affected US-Turkish relations, including the launch of the S- 400 missile purchase contract from Russia, which occurred despite warnings by Americans. The purchase of the Russia's S-400 system by Turkey led Washington to retaliate.

Turkey has signed the contract for the purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia at the end of last year, with the aim of cutting dependence on the missile defense systems of NATO allies, and in particular the US, and according to an agreement with Russian side, the first S-400 system at the end of the year 2019 will be delivered to Turkey.

In total, two missile systems will be delivered to Turkey, the first S-400 missile system to arrive in Turkey in late 2019, and control of these systems will be provided to Turkish armed forces.

The US officials have repeatedly expressed concerns about the purchase of the S-400 missile defense system by Turkey.

Turkey, which was a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 1952, used the organization’s air defense systems to cover the airspace, but with the withdrawal of the US and Germany Patriot Air Defense system from Turkey in 2015, Ankara prioritized buying the S-400 missile defense.

In April 2019, the United States stopped the transfer of F-35 fighters to Turkey in response to the Ankara plan to buy S-400 defense systems.

This is the first step by the United States in halting the sale of the F-35 fighter to Turkey as one of Washington's allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Some analysts speak of the role of the Zionists in persuading the United States to exert pressure on Turkey, saying the Zionists has been dissatisfied of the process of Ankara’s cooperation with Russia and Iran in Syria, as well as the Kurds and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoghchi.

Turkey, during the disclosure of information related to the involvement of the Saudi ruling body, especially Saudi's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, in killing of Khashoghchi, instigated the Zionist protests, insisting that double pressure on Saudi Arabia would endanger Tel Aviv's interests in the region.

In the same vein, some analysts assessed the type of Turkish game in the killing file of Khashoghchi in the direction of Gülen's withdrawal, which eventually failed, leading to a deepening dissatisfaction of Ankara's leaders from Washington.

Turkey has publicly announced that it will not comply with the US unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Regarding the recent developments, observers treat Turkey-US relations as a challenging partnership, which will also affect the principle of partnership as the divisions deepen.


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