U.S political analysts: Events around "Freedom Flotilla" can deteriorate U.S-Turkey relations

U.S political analysts: Events around "Freedom Flotilla" can deteriorate U.S-Turkey relations

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 4 / Trend U. Sadikhova /

Besides undermining of the Turkish-Israeli cooperation, the worsening of situation in the Middle East after Israeli attacks on humanitarian convoy "Freedom Flotilla" can lead to a deterioration in relations between Washington and Ankara, U.S. experts said.

"The Israel attack on the Turkish ships and killing of 9 Turks will strain U.S - Turkish relations," Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma Joshua Landis told Trend by e-mail.

The cause of the deterioration of relations is the U.S protection of Israel from attacks of the international community, and attempts to limit the possibility of Turkey to compel Israel to bear responsibility for its actions.

Deputy president Joe Biden said that Israel's actions are considered as self-defense, as force was used against Israeli soldiers. His statement was made when international organizations have called for an international investigation on the attack of Israeli navy against international activists on the "Freedom Flotilla", killing nine people, including eight Turkish citizens.

At the same time, Washington was willing to participate in the investigation of the events, if it receives such a proposal.

The U.S will pay a price for siding with Israel against Turkey, Landis said.

As we saw with recent visits of Erdogan to Iran and the Turkish-Brazilian Nuclear deal, Turkey is playing a leadership role in the region's conflicts.

The U.S does not want to provoke it into leading a revolt of the middling powers against U.S policy, Landis said.

Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University Nathan J. Brown believes that the current crisis in the relations of Turkey and Israel will provoke real problems for the U.S.

"The U.S-Turkish alliance is as actually even older than the U.S-Israel alliance and it is more formal (since Turkey is a member of NATO and Israel is not). This crisis presents real problems for the US for that reason, since both sides will look very much to the US for support and it can not satisfy both at the same time," Brown told Trend via e-mail.

He said that the Turkish-Israeli relationship is under severe stress and the Turkish-U.S relationship under less severe but still serious stress.

Director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, David Schenker, said that the recent actions of Turkey in the Middle East are increasingly contrary to U.S. policy in the region. The support for international humanitarian convoy is one of them.

" The Turkish-sponsored flotilla to Gaza complicates the newly resumed U.S-brokered proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians. A few weeks before that, Ankara brokered a problematic deal with Brazil and Iran, which would allow Tehran to continue enriching Uranium, and make it more difficult for Washington to build a coalition to sanction Iran, " Schenker told Trend via e-mail.

The flotilla incident will not necessarily deepen the rift between Ankara and Washington.  But it is important, because this Turkish provocation and other recent Turkish initiatives that seem geared toward frustrating Administration policies in the Middle East are indicative of how deep the rift between Washington and Ankara has already become, he said.

However, U.S political analysts do not think that Turkey will leave Western anti-terrorism coalition, led by the U.S. in the Middle East.

Landis said that Turkey is trying to play a leading role while solving a problem in the Middle East. The fact that it headed to the east testifies its diplomatic and economic interests.

George Washington University Professor Brown believes that Turkey is trying to contain any fallout in U.S-Turkish ties. So, Ankara is unlikely to fully reconsider its policy.

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