Ghattas 6/13/10 (Kim, American University of Beirut BBC correspondent, BBC, Are regional issues splitting US and Turkey, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10305519.stm) BAF
In an interview with the BBC, US State Department official Phil Gordon said Washington was "disappointed that (Turkey) didn't stand with the United States as a longstanding Nato ally". The assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia said he did not doubt that Turkey was sincere in wanting to work with the international community to prevent Iran from pursuing a nuclear programme. Turkey voting against UN sanctions on Iran - 9 June 2010 Turkey voted against a US-backed resolution on tougher sanctions on Iran But he added Turkey clearly had different views about the sanctions resolution. Despite the disappointment, US officials have tried to sound sanguine about the disagreements with Turkey. "Turkey and the United States have never been without their differences, and we have some important differences now, but we also have a lot in common that we're working together on," said Mr Gordon. Foreign policy evolving However, the tension raised questions in Washington about whether the US is losing Turkey as an ally. While the relationship may be changing, so far no one either here or in Turkey is worried about a breakdown. But everybody is closely watching Turkey's evolving foreign policy. Defence Secretary Robert Gates made comments in London that suggested Turkey was turning away from the West. While he did not quite state it as an established fact, he did make clear why he thought Ankara could be going in that direction. "I personally think that if there is anything to the notion that Turkey is, if you will, movingeastward," said Mr Gates, "it is, in my view, in no small part because it was pushed, and pushed by some in Europe refusing to give Turkey the kind of organic link to the West that Turkey sought." If this is the view in Washington, then it is likely the Obama administration will be careful not to act in a way that could further push Turkey towards the Arab and Islamic world. The US also needs Turkey in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Turkey extending ties Turkey has also rejected the notion that it is looking more East with such a vehemence it seems to suggest it is worried about sending the wrong signals to the West. Continue reading the main story Nuh Yilmaz Seta (Turkish think-tank) Turkey is simply trying to "diversify its relations," says Nuh Yilmaz, the Washington DC director of the Turkish political think-tank Seta. It is pursuing ties with countries with which it had limited or bad contact before, he said. Turkey's vote at the UN was not about embracing Iran even if that was the impression it left. "We had no choice but to vote like this," said Mr Yilmaz. "Not because Iran is right, but because we had to stand by the deal that we reached with Iran, together with Brazil."
TÜRKÖNE 6/19/10 (MÜMTAZ’ER, Gazi University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Today’s Zaman, Business group sees communication gap between US, Turkey, http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-213563-100-business-group-sees-communication-gap-between-us-turkey.html) BAF
Ankara and Washington need to be more careful in conducting a healthy dialogue that does not allow for misunderstanding or a lack of communication, Ümit Boyner, the president of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD), stated after talks with senior US officials in Washington, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on Thursday. “I believe dialogue should continue in a way that does not allow for misunderstandings between parties and it should be normalized; that is to say, there is a need to avoid a sharp and accusatory discourse, one which could harm diplomatic relations and sensitivities,” Boyner was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency while speaking at a press conference held at the TÜSİAD office in Washington. In addition to a 40-minute meeting with Clinton, a TÜSİAD delegation led by Boyner also had talks on Thursday with Philip Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and US experts on Turkey. Gordon met on Wednesday with a delegation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) led by Adana deputy Ömer Çelik, the AK Party’s chairperson for external affairs. But the AK Party delegation did not meet with Clinton. Çelik, speaking to private NTV television late on Thursday, said his delegation had not requested a meeting with Clinton, responding to media speculation that the lack of contact with the US secretary of state was a sign of tension between the Turkish and US governments. Talk of Turkey’s “axis shift” away from the West is highly popular in the US capital, Boyner said in response to a question, Anatolia reported. She, however, noted that this issue was not clearly discussed during the meeting with Clinton. The agenda of this meeting was widely occupied by Turkey’s vote against a US-backed UN Security Council resolution for tougher sanctions on Iran, adopted on June 9, as well as the deadly May 31 raid by Israeli naval forces that led to the deaths of nine people on an aid flotilla in the eastern Mediterranean. According to Boyner, a letter sent by US President Barack Obama to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was interpreted differently by Turkish and US officials. The letter came ahead of a uranium swap that was jointly brokered by Turkey and Brazil and that Iran agreed to on May 17 prior to a US resolution seeking further sanctions against Iran. “I can openly say that it is not possible to say we are living through a very good period in regards to Turkish-American relations. There are concerns. However, we also got the impression that there are serious misunderstandings and communication problems,” Boyner said of the talks in Washington.
Turkey-U.S. relations good- Turkish East and West ties good
TÜRKÖNE 6/12/10 (MÜMTAZ’ER, Gazi University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Today’s Zaman, Is Turkey weaning itself off the us? http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-212874-109-centeris-turkey-weaning-itself-off-the-us-bribyi-brmumtazerturkonecenter.html) BAF
The nuclear swap deal signed by and between Turkey, Brazil and Iran, the Gaza crisis and the ensuing no-vote on the sanctions package on Iran at the United Nations Security Council have refueled the debate over whether Turkey is shifting direction away from the US. This question is familiar to observers of Turkey, who can answer immediately. Turkey is not distancing itself from the US. There are no major changes in Turkey’s foreign policy. Turkey is not experiencing any deviation in its relations with the Western world in general and with the US in particular. What it is doing is actually pursuing an active foreign policy in its region by complying with its alliance with the West. It closely monitors the balances in the region and makes finely tuned interventions. In the first instance, it is not very likely that Turkey will change its axis because there is no alternative to the current axis. As a strategic ally of the US, Turkey is becoming more influential and powerful in its immediate region. There are visible contributions of Turkey’s growing influence and power over policies concerning the region. With Obama’s election, the US has started to recover its damaged image in the Muslim world. And the policies Turkey is pursuing make this rising image of the US more visible. The enhanced reputation of Turkey in the region implies more security for Israel. It will be more difficult for the Muslim world to show hostility towards Israel at the expense of offending a Turkey that has good relations with Israel. Despite the crisis in Gaza, Turkey’s position vis-a-vis and its value for Israel have not changed. On a global scale the question “Is Turkey distancing itself from the US?” is all the more meaningless. However, this question is particularly important for the domestic political players who seek to gain an advantage over the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Indeed, the different answers to this question have different effects on internal political balances.