The US and Turkey have been members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for nearly 70 years. However, relationships have gradually become challenging in recent years. In April, the US government recognized the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks as "genocide." This caused dissatisfaction in Turkey, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan had repeatedly asked his American counterpart to reconsider the decision. (Photo quoted from Yahoo’s image)
Erdogan has been waiting for months to meet with new US President Joe Biden to reduce differences between the two countries. Meanwhile, the first meeting between the two presidents lasted 45 minutes. But the meeting between Erdogan and Biden failed to resolve the challenges of relations between the two countries. Following the meeting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the talks constructive and useful.
In other words, it can be said that the two countries have had initial agreements on establishing a coherent, orderly and effective communication channel and proper negotiations, but important challenges in the relations between the two countries remain unsolved. Meanwhile, Joe Biden announced that he would support Turkey in its operations in Afghanistan. Erdogan also said that after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Turkey is ready to provide security for Kabul airport, but needs US logistical assistance.
On the other hand, the parties still need to negotiate a dispute over the S400. Before, Turkey purchased, delivered and tested the S400 air and missile defense system despite US opposition. But it has not been activated due to US opposition. Turkey has also rejected the offer to keep the S400 inactive and sign a written commitment. The US concern over continued Moscow-Ankara military cooperation and Russia's access to NATO security and missile information is still a serious challenge in Ankara-Washington relations. The Kurdish issue is also one of the most important and controversial issues and will be one of the challenges in Turkish-American relations in the future.
Unlike Donald Trump, Joe Biden has reacted to Turkish pressure on the Kurds, and Erdogan is reluctant to reduce pressure on the Kurds inside Turkey and in northern Iraq and Syria.
Turkey also believes that the United States should end its support for the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party in northeastern Syria. In fact, Turkey opposes the Kurdish corridor in northern Syria and expects the United States to coordinate with Ankara on the Kurds issue. Turkey's foreign policy in the Middle East has offended many US allies. In addition, Ankara and Washington do not have common interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey's policies in the Eastern Mediterranean are another issue that has challenged relations between Ankara and the European capitals, as well as the Eastern Mediterranean countries. This issue is not far from the eyes of the United States either.At the same time, Turkey's adventures in the region and the growing military cooperation between Ankara and Moscow are also matters of concern for Washington.
On the other hand, Ankara believes that the United States supports the internal opposition to the ruling party. Also, any Washington emphasis on human rights, the release of Kurdish politicians, support for the overthrow of Erdogan from power, etc., will add to the dimensions of tension. Maybe Erdogan's team is looking for a middle way to reduce tensions with Washington, but even Turkey's partial retreat will not lead to an immediate improvement in the US-Turkish relations.
Farzad Ramezani Bonesh
Senior Researcher and Analyst of International Affairs