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Relations between the US and Turkey are on the verge of freezing

The US Congress has approved a resolution called “expressing concern for the United States-Turkey Alliance” in which the legislators show their uneasiness about the recent events that have deteriorated bilateral relations between the two countries.

The US Congress has approved a resolution called “Expressing concern for the United States-Turkey Alliance” – “Expressing concern for the US-Turkey alliance” – in which the legislators show their uneasiness over the latest events that have deteriorated bilateral relations between the two countries. In the text, there is also a criticism of the judicial system of Turkey and the foreign policy exercised by the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan , and his Executive.

The Turkish reaction was not long in coming. Thus, in a note published by the Foreign Ministry, the resolution is described as ” not consistent with the deep-rooted friendship and alliance” between both nations and declares the impossibility of ” accepting the unfair and unfounded accusations ” that appear in the document against certain public sectors of Turkey. The note concludes by warning the US that “the use of threat language and sanctions […] are not acceptable.”

In the resolution, which was presented to the US Congress just one month ago, on May 10, some aspects of Turkey’s foreign and national policy were critically criticized and defined as “deeply problematic”: “cooperation with Russia and Iran, his military occupation in the north of Cyprus, his retreat from democratic norms and institutions, including his attacks on the free press and his continued unjust detentions of US citizens and the staff of the United States Embassy. ” With this latest complaint, congressmen refer, among others, to the incident that took place on January 30, when a Turkish court sentenced a worker from the US consulate in Adana to four and a half months in prison for allegedly maintaining ties with the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan (PKK, for its acronym in Kurdish).

However, the fact that it has been configured as the trigger for this period of cooling of bilateral relations has been the agreement reached by Turkey to acquire Russia’s S-400 anti-missile defense system. The sale, which was negotiated between July and December 2017, entered a new stage after the celebration of the eighth high-level council between Russia and Turkey at the beginning of April this year, as during the meeting between Erdogan and his counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the details of the operation came to light: Ankara will disburse 2.5 billion dollars and by July of this year, it is expected that Moscow will begin to supply the anti-missile system.

The installation of it would take place next fall. This has been confirmed by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Riabkov , who said on Tuesday that all the commitments arising from the agreement “will be fully and on time” and described the resolution on Monday as an ” open and cynical blackmail”.

With these figures and these dates on the table, the US was forced to react, because in January 2019, the US government made an offer to Turkey to buy Patriot missile defense system, on the condition that it did not acquire the S-400 , which finally came through. Thus, the May 10 resolution read: “Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 undermines the security of the US and NATO allies and weakens the relationship between the United States and the United States. Turkey”.

In this regard, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives and signatory of the resolution, Eliot Engel, warned after approval of the document: ” This is a black and white issue; there is no middle ground […] Either Mr. Erdogan cancels the Russian agreement, or he does not. And there is no future for Turkey in which it has both Russian and American F-35 weapons. There is no third way. There is no path to mitigation that allows Turkey to have its cake and eat that of others as well. We can not risk exposing our national security technology to Russia. “

The measures adopted by Washington have also taken place in this line: the Pentagon, at the request of the resolution in which Turkey was asked to cancel the Russian acquisition, blocked the delivery of a hundred fifth-generation F-35fighters to Ankara – the model par excellence used in the Turkish Armed Forces – through the suspension of the supply of material necessary for the arrival of aircraft in Turkish territory. In the same way, it also canceled the training program for the pilots in this type of fighter aircraft.

It should be recalled that Turkey was considered by the US as “a fundamental partner” in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program since 2002, as it participated in the industrial production and manufacture of various components of the F-35, intended to house a facility of maintenance for the regional operators of the F-35 and there were investment plans in the program worth more than 1.25 billion dollars, as well as the purchase of 100 F-35 aircraft.

In addition to the breakdown of business between the US and Turkey , the distancing materialized with the request of the congressmen to fully implement the penalties set out in the Law against the adversaries of the United States through sanctions (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), signed in 2017 and for which sanctions were issued against Russia, Iran and North Korea. Since that same year, there have been approved US economic sanctions against Turkish interests and the respective countermeasures of the Erdogan government against certain sectors of the US market.

The relations between both nations, far from stabilizing, continue to be cooled by the proliferation of other sources of tension currently open, in addition to the purchase and sale of defense systems, such as the role of the Kurds in the war in Syria.

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