Middle EastArticles

US-Turkish Relations and the Euphrates Shield

To Read Text in PDF Format Click here.

US-Turkish Relations and the Euphrates Shield

After years of commitment to the US ceiling regarding the relationship with the Syrian opposition, it seemed that Turkey has exceeded in the process, “the shield of the Euphrates,” so the ceiling or they have convinced Washington downwards and give it the green light, including opening the door to a question the future of bilateral relations between the two allies Ankara and Washington.


Between the Alliance and the dependency

It began the special relationship between the two parties far end of World War II, when the former Soviet Union abolished in 1945 friendship agreement with Turkey and demanded control of the straits and some cities east of the country, entered Turkey on American protection, and relations have developed with the accession in 1952 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) .

But the relationship between the two parties were not equals, but Turkey was for the duration of the Cold War more like an advanced base for NATO in the face of Communist expansion. Washington also showed more than one occasion indifference to the interests of “ally”, such as the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, and opposition to the intentions of the Turkish intervention in Cyprus to protect the Turks in 1964 and stop support her after “a strong message” from President Johnson.

After the Cold War ended, many debates in the United States and within the corridors of NATO took place about the need for Turkey after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but President Ozal invested “chance” the second Gulf War to emphasize this importance through cooperation and facilitation and participation in the war, despite local objections and went on relations in a golden period during which the parties announced in 1995 a “strategic partnership” in parallel with the steadily growing ties between Turkey and the Zionist entity.


With the Justice and Development

With the arrival to power in 2002, the Justice and Development Party worked to develop a “multi-dimensional” foreign policy, but he also stressed the centrality of the relationship with the West. However, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, just months after the formation of the Justice and Development to the government, and the Turkish parliament refused to allow US troops to use Turkish territory led to a crisis of great confidence between the two sides lasted for years.

He returned the warmth of relations with Obama’s presidency and his speech the famous “Turkish model” that combines Islam and democracy, and that the nations of the Arab world – the Muslim (who chose to constituents for the first time under the dome of the Turkish Parliament in 2009) to follow suit. Turkey has gone on for years in the consistent foreign policy with the United States policies in the region, such as the continuing relations with the state of occupation, and the attempts of the Syrian regime to contain away from Iran, and to engage in mediation of indirect negotiations between Damascus and Tel Aviv, and even try to contain Iran itself.

But the revolutions of the Arab world witnessed a proactive stance Turkey in a clear separation from the reservation and commitment to neutrality and non-interference in the affairs of various countries and other traditional principles of Turkish foreign policy. Attitudes that have widened the gap between Ankara and Washington, particularly with regard to the Palestinian cause and the rupture with the state of occupation, the position of the Egyptian coup, and Turkey’s vision for a solution in Syria. Over the years of the revolution, Turkey has been insisting on the need for the departure of Assad as the origin of crisis in his country and the region, while Washington saw Ooloulih fight state regulation – Daesh, nor Turkey, he graduated from the US ceiling clear in supporting and arming the Syrian opposition, before gradually change its position in the recent period first support GENEVA – a path which implies acceptance of Assad’s survival until the elections – and then officially announced the possibility of Assad staying in the transitional period after the rapprochement with Russia.


Shield the Euphrates and the future of relations

Came “shield of the Euphrates,” the process of Turkey in northern Syria in a period of great tension in Turkish relations – the US, after the failed coup attempt, which accused Turkish circles and Washington to stand behind them (before that denies politicians Turks charge them) and procrastinated after the last – and still is – in the delivery of open Colin God to Turkey.

The operation came after years of Turkey claims the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria, and the reluctance of the United States to cooperate with the Democratic Union Party (Kurdish) and arm the military to protect people’s forces, who consider them terrorist organizations of their relations with the PKK, and the replacement of “moderate opposition” them to cope State regulation – Daesh.

Raises US statements in support of the process and the involvement of the international coalition aircraft, which the US calls Kurdish factions armed to retreat to the east of the Euphrates – a Turkish demand – many questions about the US position and the extent of change and its causes, as well as the implications of all this for the future of relations with Ankara.

First of all, do not doubt that the American consent and participation of important international coalition variable planes in Washington’s position, not only on the level of support for the Kurds and make it possible to achieve the vision of Turkey a safe area miniature northern Syria (even in theory), but also on the level of acceptance of the idea of ​​the participation of parties other than the Kurds national field Kqguat against Daesh, also a variable on the same level of opposition.

But the evaluation of this emerging US position should not be overlooked the next task contexts:

First of all, were not the US approval of the full process and Nadzh and initiative, as evidenced by the keenness of Turkey to start before the arrival of US Vice President Joe Biden to Ankara, the first US Secretary around and statements, and therefore it is difficult to talk about a fundamental change in the US position.

Second, perhaps the Turkish authorities will not be able to prove Washington’s support for the coup to try and give it a green light, at least, and even if they managed the Turkish leadership will not announce it for obvious reasons related to the inability to confront Washington and the desire not to raise the Turkish people against the government that has failed to “punish” being careful to invest any information in this context, to put pressure on Washington in the various outstanding issues. But all contexts, theoretical and logical, historical and practical flowing in this direction, which means that the “targeting” is not over, but just go to a new level.

Thirdly, we can’t say for sure change the US position on the armed Kurdish factions in Syria, as have three features – Tngar- not and will not give preference for the United States on the other, a field experience full readiness to fight Daesh and non-Islamic ideology. Thus, Washington Inviting her to retreat to the east of the Euphrates River (Turkish Red Line is included in the name of the process) is not a final position, but it may be closer to maneuver to pass the process is in its early days. Perhaps the return of Kurdish forces to advance westwards and Turkey bombed her, then US State Department spokesman, who called on “both sides” to exercise restraint signals important in this context a statement.

Fourth, what the contentious issues between the United States and Turkey still many along with the added complexity of the coup, and in the forefront of Turkey’s foreign policy, which has not yet been radically changed, despite the continuing march of reconciliations, the recent rapprochement of the Russian – Iranian duo.

Fifth, Washington entered the recession months period that precedes every presidential election since, and can not say for sure from now, the next US president’s policies towards Turkey and the region, but is known and declared candidates Trump and Clinton so far is not much.

Sixth, the current US position was the result of several simultaneous contexts, in the forefront of the attempted coup and the Turkish rapprochement – Russian tension between Ankara and Washington, Turkish and step Initiative Aware of the risk of Kurds control Jarablos failure. It is therefore a temporary position Annie Negotiable change in the event of some of the factors have changed, particularly the functioning of the Turkish operations in Syria. Ankara has announced that one of the most important goals of this operation is to restore the Kurdish factions to the east of the Euphrates, a goal could turn to factor depletion of Turkey in Syria if the long-term and complicated conditions, which have always fearing the Turkish decision-maker, and becoming increasingly dangerous with a high-pitched Kurdish remarks.

Finally, go to the United States has changed its attitude and policies toward Syria, or that it “complied” Turkish decision seems hasty assessment is not based on clear evidence or assertive. Closest to the analysis of the real is that the US position – which can’t be asserted his intentions and objectives of the future – a tactical and temporary change for several reasons and factors that may change or will change, and nothing is guaranteed not to change the US position later, but very soon, which is the most experienced country in the switch positions and changing friends and allies in record times.

Each of the above makes the process of “shield Euphrates” adventure all accounts, going so far according to the calculated their steps and the subject of their goals, but they must beware of turn or shift to the depletion factor confuses leaves again, with regard to Turkey and also with respect to scene Syrian himself. (1)



1 The views expressed in this article are entirely those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of EIPSS.

To Read Text in PDF Format Click here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button