U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leans over to clasp Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s hand at the end of a news conference at Ankara Palace in Ankara, Turkey, March 1, 2013. / AP PHOTO
Turkish-US Ties Gain New Depth
Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse Posted on April 12
There was much speculation in February that Turkish-American ties were heading for the doldrums after the barbs exchanged between Washington and Ankara over remarks by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about Israel and Syria, as well as comments by US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone criticizing the Turkish judicial system.
I nevertheless suggested in a piece for Al-Monitor (Feb. 8) that the chill in ties would pass because neither side could really afford to harm a strategic relationship of 50 years standing, which in fact has weathered worse storms. There are still nuanced differences, of course, between the sides on specific issues; for example on how to approach the Syrian crisis, as well as disagreements concerning Turkey’s growing ties with the Iraqi Kurds in the energy field.
It was clear at the time, though, and still is, that the situation in the Middle East would ensure that neither Ankara nor Washington could push any differences they had beyond a certain point. It is obvious from today’s perspective that any chill in ties there might have been has indeed been overcome.