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The American-Turkish Differentiation

Shivan Ibrahim

In the search for the reasons for the American-Turkish differentiation of relations at the expense of all other files and as an entry to explain the nature of this preference, it is concluded that the UN, Greece, the Arab Gulf, and the rest of the Arab countries neighboring to Turkey, are the most prominent files that were not able to overcome the American-Turkish differentiation.

The beginnings of ‎WWI formed a practical enhancement of relations between Ankara and Washington, particularly as Turks sought to deepen their security strategies and found in America their calling. America is strong and share the same interests of Turkey, without neglecting the fact that America takes advantage of its relations with the latter.

These relations have strategically improved in order to take advantage of the Turkish geographical settings which are of great significance. This gave them the priority to impose their demands compared to their rivals regarding the American satisfaction. Despite the decrease of communication, due to recurrent tensions arising in their relationship, such as, the occupation of Iraq in 2003 or the American relationship with the SDF, yet neither parties sought to change their attitude towards each other. Neither their priorities nor their strategic policies, but rather, they have made consensuses to adapt all matters according to a course that serves common interests.

The depth of the relations between them stems from and is based on a historical background. Since the Ottoman Empire era, Turkey took refuge in America, in order to avoid the main threat represented by Russia. Therefore, the relationship between them remained very strong then it developed to become a basis for planning Turkish national security policies. Turkey is taking advantage of its geo-strategic location with regard to the relationship between the East and West. It has thus, become an important and additional element in international security strategies, as even a hidden conflict over Turkey can be detected within the NATO forces, without neglecting its relationship with Greece and Arab countries, and its ambitions in the Mediterranean basin. However, the great importance of Turkey lies in its geopolitical position; where it is the spear point of US plans in the region and is an essential part of its defense security policies towards the Caucasus and the Black Sea basin, Russia and the Middle East. Nevertheless, the acceleration of events, particularly during the Arab Spring movements, proved that this relationship, in addition to what Turkey benefits from, includes a special Turkish aim, as part of a broader American aim that grows according to developments. The assassination of Qassem Soleimani has, specifically, Turkey assumed primacy at the expense of its opponents and rivals, as the US military bases in Turkey and the Turkish military defenses, have become extremely significant. In case that Iran carries out its pledge of revenge for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Turkey is the only country with borders neighboring Iran and has American military bases that enable it to threaten the region.

Some parties, strangely enough, are still waiting or hoping that Turkey has been involved in its wars. The essential part of disregarding these expectations arises on the neglect of most of the American administrations, which were successive in the White House rule, the nature of domestic political life. The Kurdish case is still not recognized in the Turkish constitution, in addition to the fact that dozens of members of the "Democratic Peoples' Party", among the leaders of the first rank, its representatives in the Turkish parliament and its candidates for the mayoralty, have been detained for years, and their cause - if not the whole Kurdish issue in Turkey – is not a concern of the White House in the political-strategic concept that requires finding radical solutions.

Not to mention that Turkey forms the basis for the policy of blocking the Gulf expansion in the Middle East; thus giving it a geopolitical advantage that may create a new balance in the face of the Saudi-Iranian conflict. Also, concerning that America views Turkey as a democratic Islamic country, if the US official position deeply overlooks the issue of converting the Hagia Sophia Church into a museum and then into a mosque, it falls within the scope of benefiting from the American administration’s claim to support and protect "moderate Islam." I believe that this is what led Necmettin Erbakan to declare to various media outlets, stating; “If the call to prayer is raised in Hagia Sophia, know that Islam is the dominant religion in Turkey.”

It is evident that Turkey's great ambitions, find on the American side a distinct opportunity to take an advantage of and turn into relations and strategic alliance, on solid foundations as a result of the complexity and stability of interests. America assumes primacy and Turkey regards it as an ally that should not be forfeited, as it is a means of transformation into a broader regional role.

America, in its turn, depends on Turkey, to consolidate the implications of the historical relations, their effects and their extensions. As an integral and important factor for American expansion and overcoming its obstacles, particularly since Turkey is a "window" over countries that America is interested in, given its pivotal roles in the Middle East and its impact on the stability process and pressures and risks on the American vital interest. Specifically, in countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Therefore, the American political and economic mentality cannot forfeit a country that represents a maritime and navigational corridor that penetrates the Black Sea, the Caucasus Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Among America's efforts to pressure Russia, Turkey's creation of a backup corridor to supply Europe with gas and oil from Central Asian countries via the Ceyhan-Baku line will be as the alternative to the Russian line extending through Ukraine.

Moreover, America, in its endeavor towards reconciliation and closer ties with the Islamic world, views Turkey as a democratic Muslim country, neighboring Arab and non-Arab Islamic countries and it can play a significant role in improving its image in the Middle East.

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