Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 18 / Trend , B.Hasanov /
There is no serious anxiety in the U.S. due to Turkey will change its foreign political course. But Washington needs to enhance the strategic partnership with Ankara.
"The U.S. is trying to enhance the traditional strategic partnership with Turkey, by eliminating accrued cooling of relations between the two countries," Turkish International Relations Institute Ishik Professor Bulent Aras said to Trend .
U.S. President Barack Obama had a telephone conversation with President of Turkey Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Obama said that he wants to more effectively promote the Turkish-American relations through joint strategic interests of NATO.
U.S-Turkish relations began to develop after the World War 2 in particular. During the "cold war" Turkey was one of the most significant allies of the United States in counteracting against the influence of the Soviet Union and the socialistic bloc to the West. The US rendered Turkey an economical and military bailout during the cold war.
In return, Turkish Armed Forces joined the Western bloc in the Korean War in 1950-1953. In 1952, Turkey joined The U.S. military wing NATO and in 1954 allowed the US to install military base Injirlik in her territory. This base played a significant role in the cold war, first war in the gulf and Iraqi war. In 1980-1990, Turkish-U.S. relations were dramatically developed. In 1991, Turkey roughly supported the US in the first war in the gulf. However, in 2003, Turkey doesn't allow the U.S. to use her territory for conducting a military intervention to Iraq which led to the deterioration of political relations between the two countries.
Turkey enhances economical and political linkages with Russia and endeavors to conduct an independent policy in the Middle East. Such foreign policy is regarded as an estrangement of Ankara from NATO and from the status of the strategic ally of Washington. A strict position of Ankara on Israel, the closest ally of the US, due to the last events in Gaza and declaration signed between Russia and Turkey during the visit of Abdullah Gul to Moscow last week are obvious signs of this estrangement.
Despite certain anxiety in Washington regarding Turkish foreign policy, one can not bind Obama's phone conversation with Gul and Erdogan with this anxiety, European expert Magnus Karaveli said. It is natural for new President Obama to phone the country which is important for the U.S. and remind about strategic cooperation, Karaveli said. "Obama would like to inform Ankara about its importance for the US," Karaveli, editor-in-chief of Turkey Analyst journal, leading researcher of Middle Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, told Trend over phone from Istanbul on Feb. 18.
The US is willing to turn NATO into an active organization again, so Turkey, having the second biggest army in the organization, has great importance for Washington, Turkish expert Aras said.
"Obama's administration willing to increase military forces in Afghanistan owing to NATO is likely to actively cooperate with Turkey on the issue," Aras said.
German Marshall Fund Ankara office Director Ozgur Unluhisarcikli believes that Obama wants to work with his European allies and therefore the relations with Transatlantic allies in this framework is natural. "Here there is a very important point. Obama does not see Turkey as a Middle East ally, but as a transatlantic partner, and attaches great importance to the transatlantic cooperation," Unluhisarcikli said.
Obama's visit to Turkey is expected soon to strengthen bilateral relations.
Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: firstname.lastname@example.org