New era in Turkey-US relations?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 2
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
After the military coup attempt in Turkey, tensions arose in its relations with the US. The Turkish authorities repeatedly stated that the US stands behind the coup attempt, since Fethullah Gulen, the ideological leader of the FETO terrorist group, is hiding in the US.
Despite all the demands of Turkey to extradite Gulen, the US hasn’t yet extradited the organizer of the coup attempt, which killed more than 250 Turkish citizens and injured over 2,000 people.
The arrest of US pastor Andrew Brunson, who was accused of complicity with the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016, was the peak of tensions in relations between Turkey and the US.
President Donald Trump promised to impose large sanctions on Turkey for detaining the pastor.
“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being,” Trump tweeted. “He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”
The sanctions were imposed, and Turkey suffered great economic and financial losses. Sanctions were also imposed on two Turkish ministers.
On October 12, 2018, Turkey released the American pastor, despite all previous strong statements about his proven guilt. The release of the pastor at the request of the US led to Washington's lifting the sanctions on only two Turkish ministers, leaving all the rest. But it did not prevent the Turkish media from interpreting this step of the US as the beginning of a new era in relations between the two countries.
At the same time, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's statement was forgotten.
Cavusoglu, in his statement on October 23, said that relations between Turkey and the US have not deteriorated because of pastor Brunson's arrest.
As the foreign minister noted, there are disagreements between the US and Turkey over the US support for the PYD/YPG terrorists.
"The US must stop supporting the PYD/YPG terrorists in Syria's north," Cavusoglu said.
Cavusoglu's words once again prove that the American "rehabilitation" of the two ministers is just a gesture that does not remove the fundamental contradictions and cannot be considered the beginning of a new era in the US-Turkey relations.
Until the US keeps its promise that the PYD/YPG militants leave Syrian Manbij, full normalization of relations between the US and Turkey is out of the question.
Rufiz Hafizoglu, deputy editor-in-chief of Trend
Follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu