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No major crisis in Turkey-US relations

213 1 0
19.05.2017
Viewed from outside, the White House meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 16 took place under the shadow of perhaps one of the most severe crises of recent times in Turkey-U.S. relations.

As the meeting day approached, tension rose proportionally with the dimensions of the crisis. However, despite the two leaders’ essential difference of opinion on the PYD/YPG issue, there was a contrast between the scale of severity of the crisis perceived from outside and the moderate climate generated from these statements given in the White House. In other words, no fire erupted as some had feared.

The reason for this was that the mutual interests of the two countries and the political calculations of the two leaders forced the management of this crisis by taking it under control.

The U.S. side, by declaring it will conduct the operation to remove ISIL from Raqqa with the YPG, the military wing of the PYD, which is the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), had already closed the file before Erdoğan’s arrival.

Even though the Turkish side demanded the reviewing of this decision, Erdoğan’s trip showed clearly that it is out of the question for the Trump administration to take a step back.

In fact, Erdoğan himself recognized this in his meeting with reporters at the embassy the other evening. “We told them, ‘leave the terror networks alone. Let us wahe the fight against terror together,’ but unfortunately they did not opt for that,” he said.

The matter is now tied to the assurances given by the American side. The U.S. has pledged that despite cooperating with the PYD/YPG duo, this cooperation will not constitute a threat to Turkey’s security with arms given to the YPG not ending up in the hands of the PKK, for example. Erdoğan said such assurances had been voiced from the beginning, adding that “acts are more important than words.”

Before Erdoğan left for the U.S., while he was in Beijing, he criticized Trump’s PYD/YPG decision harshly. “If we are strategic allies, then we have to make a........

© Hürriyet Daily News