Analysts are warning that relations between Turkey and the United States may be heading for a period of volatility, particularly in the wake of the botched May 31 Israeli commando raid on a Gaza aid flotilla, along with Ankara’s recent decision to vote “no” in the United Nations Security Council on sanctions against Iran. “There is a ceiling above which Turkish-American relations cannot improve, and there’s a floor which it can’t go below. But we are getting pretty close to the floor and the ability of the two countries to improve their relations really has a huge question mark over it. We are now talking about an undeclared crisis in the relations,” said Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies. Indeed, in a recent interview with The Associated Press, Philip Gordon, the State Department’s top official for European and Eurasian affairs seemed to echo that assessment. Gordon suggested that Turkey needed to take demonstrable action to affirm its commitment to both the United States and the Atlantic Alliance. Ankara, in recent years, has been plotting anincreasingly independent and ambitious foreign policy course, one that sees an increased role for itself in regional and even global affairs. But observers say Turkey’s role in the Gaza flotilla incident and its subsequent harsh rhetoric against Israel, as well as its decision regarding the Iran sanctions vote, have brought into sharper relief some of the differences between Ankara’s and Washington’s approach on some key issues. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive]. “I think the administration realizes it has a problem with Turkey, but it’s not a major rift. It’s subtler than that. I think what they will do is start looking at Turkey at a more transactional level for a while, meaning ‘What are you doing for me?’ and ‘This is what I can do for you,’” said Henri Barkey, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. “In the past we would have jumped through hoops for the Turks, but the Turks need to start being more sensitive to our concerns,” Barkey added.
Turkey and the us are currently resolving their diplomatic issues
Anatolia News 10 (Turkish premier, Obama discuss PKK, Iran, Turkish-Israeli ties, June 27, Lexisnexis) AC
Toronto, 27 June: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday [26 June] met with US President Barack Obama in Toronto, Canada where they attended the G20 summit. Erdogan and Obama discussed a wide range of issues from Turkish-US cooperation against PKK to Iran's nuclear programme and relations between Israel and Turkey, diplomats said. On cooperation against the terrorist organization PKK, leaders focused on benefits of tripartite mechanism of Turkey, United States and Iraq and they underscored the need to continue the mechanism. Turkey voiced its expectations from the United States and US officials pledged to continue to support Turkey against PKK.On relations between Turkey and Israel, Obama said United States was uneasy about what happened recently between Turkey and Israel which he described as two ally countries.Turkish-Israeli relations strained after a 31 May Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza which killed eight Turks and an American of Turkish origin. Obama said United States would continue to contribute to efforts for a solution to problem between the two countries, diplomats said. Turkey reiterated its demands that Israel apologize, pay damages and lift blockade on Gaza. Erdogan also thanked for US help in bringing back Turkish citizens after ships were seized by Israel. Iran's nuclear programme was also on the agenda of the meeting of Erdogan and Obama, , diplomats said, adding that the two sides discussed the issue in detail and explained their positions on it. Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English 0659 gmt 27 Jun 10
A2: US/Turkey Relations: High
Turkey’s vote in the UN Security Council didn’t create a relations crisis.
Anatolia News 10 (Deputy premier says Turkey's Iran vote at UN not to affect relations with USA, June 11, Lexisnexis)AC
Ankara, 11 June: Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on Friday [11 June] that Turkey's stance in the United Nations was a consequence of Turkey's principles and its decisive and honest position pursued in foreign policy. "Those who think that Turkey's previous stance (during voting in UN regarding sanction on Iran) was very pursuant and salutary should not be astonished about Turkey's negative vote. This is a result of principled position and definitely Turkish-US relations will not be affected," Arinc said speaking at his meeting with Hasan Bozer, parliament Speaker of the [self-declared] Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Asked to comment on the criticisms whether Turkey was reconsidering its place in the region and if an axis shift was in question, Arinc underlined that this was certainly not an axis shift. "Negative votes of Turkey and Brazil in UN were not considered as extraordinary. Earlier, they thanked Turkey over the swap deal. They said Turkey made steps that may resolve the crisis. However, later this was not accepted by atomic energy in Austria and UN Security Council made decision to impose sanction on Iran with the insistence of the United States," Arinc said. Referring to the views that had been stated after rejection of a motion in the Turkish parliament, pertaining to dispatch US ships, planes and troops via Turkey to open a front in Iraq, that the United States would refuse Turkey, would not answer its phones, value of the US dollar would rise and that Turkey would be isolated, Arinc said, "However, common sense prevailed after the crisis and relations between Turkey and the United States were settled on better ground. I believe that neither the United States nor the other countries would wish disruption of relations with Turkey against such an issue." Arinc said Turkey was trying to keep away from the elements which threaten both the regional and the world peace and make its statements honestly and in a determined way. "The UN Security Council made a decision with 12 votes in favour but at the same time it is the right of other countries to oppose this decision.This is not an axis shift definitely. Turkey is in a multilateral foreign policy but on the one side it is careful for balances in Asia and on the other side sees African fact. Turkey also assesses well the crisis points in the Middle East. I believe that Turkey's negative vote in the UN Security Council is an indication of Turkey's decisive and honest stance and will yield positive results for Turkey and the world peace. Furthermore, whoever addressed the Security Council he eulogized Turkey's efforts and stated that swap deal made with Iran should also be on the table. Turkey had to give negative vote, not abstained, to display its decision because only an honest country could do this." Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English 1040 gmt 11 Jun 10