Ankara, Turkey – NATO member Turkey will not change its strategy and policy, If the United States has such an expectation after its unjust sanctions decision, it is wrong as has been seen after Turkey’s 1974 peace operation of Cyprus.
Indeed, Turkey will not change its long-term strategy of reducing external dependence on defense industry and security to zero as much as possible. From this point of view, if the United States has such an expectation, it will be wrong.
Meanwhile, it is expected that there will be no hard break in bilateral relations in the short term after the incumbent US administration’s sanctions targeting Turkey’s defense industry. But how these sanctions will affect cooperation will be shaped according to the attitude that new cadres who will take over the administration in the United States will follow.
Now, it is evaluated how the unjust sanctions announced by the United States against Turkey due to the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia under the anti-sanctions law (CAATSA) will move bilateral relations to a process.
It is necessary to wait a little to see the effects of the US sanctions decision. One should not expect a clear break in relations in the first place. A new administration is coming to the United States. At the moment, the process is in a very fluid state. The new US administration is due to take office on January 20th and needs to address Turkish-American relations comprehensively, including with the Turkish side.
Turkey will not lead to a breakup of relations without discussing broad Turkish-American relations, including this with the New American administration. Turkey will of course react and this process has begun.
In the negotiations between the two countries, it is necessary to look at whether a method can be found that can frame Turkish-American relations and whether sanctions will remain eliminated.
If not, there are examples of this in the past. In 1975, when the United States imposed an embargo on Turkey, and again this could not be resolved through negotiations, Turkey suspended the activities of American military bases in the country. So in exchange for a sanction that can go as far as it can, the chain can be born. But it needs to wait a while.
The US sanctions decision is already expected and therefore Turkey does not face a situation in which it is completely unprepared.
The US administration is in a position to make a choice according to the levels of pain between sanctions. The measures currently selected are actually among the measures that are called mild. It is now clear that the US administration is also somewhat cautious about the appetite of the US Congress to impose sanctions on Turkey. In this regard, Turkey should not be hasty in responding to these sanctions and can be expected to respond as soon as possible.
Therefore, it would be more appropriate to devote more time to these problems after the new US administration takes office and wait for Turkey’s answers, depending on what they will do, than to respond quickly to the limited measures introduced by the outgoing administration.
Although measures such as sanctions against Turkey are usually effective in the short term, they can have the opposite consequences of their goals in the long term.
Today, if Turkey has built its own unmanned aerial vehicles and has become one of the most mentioned countries in the world on this issue, it has played a role in not giving it these vehicles. Also, Turkey is now fighting to manufacture the weapons that it has been deprived of. There are other suppliers. Therefore, it is necessary to expect that each measure will have long-term consequences in this context, in a direction that those who introduced the measure do not want.
The de facto embargo has been named
The unjust sanctions decision taken by the United States has actually been applied for two years already, Turkey has been unfairly restricted for two years, arms sales are limited, credit is limited, there are restrictions on the purchase of equipment. The de facto embargo was named.
The new US government can use anti-Turkey sanctions decisions as an advantage in negotiations. The United States can use sanctions to put pressure on Turkey.
But, Turkey will not change its long-term defense strategy. Turkey will not change its long-term strategy of reducing external dependence on defense industry and security issues to zero as much as possible. From this point of view, if the United States has such an expectation, it will be wrong.
There is a possibility of expansion of this embargo because Turkey will not give up its long-term strategy in the defense industry. The main goal of the United States is to limit Turkey as much as possible and restrict it in certain areas, which are strengthened in its region, expanding its sphere of influence, acting independently. The United States will continue this pressure. Even if US negotiates, its ultimate goal is to put Turkey in a format where it can be more shaped.
It will hurt Turkey, but it does not contribute to the United States. Turkey will not accept its position 15-20 years ago and has no desire to return there. There will not be a crisis that will go out of control as a result of US sanctions decisions.
The United States had a direct influence on the Greece-Egypt agreement in the Eastern Mediterranean to balance Turkey by putting it in a narrower area in the region, and that the reason for the agreement with the PYD in Syria was the same. It is not expected that US will give up these strategies anytime soon. As long as US do not give up on this, relations between Turkey and the United States will be tense.
The US sanctions bring Turkey closer to other actors. The US sanctions do a harm to Turkey, but they do not contribute to the United States. If there is a structural change at a point when the US needs Turkey directly, then their position here will change. It is not expected that the United States will change its position for no reason other than that. From Turkey’s point of view, the United States is not a reliable actor. The United States appears to be an ally of Turkey’s enemies. Continuing such unjust sanctions would bring Turkey closer to other partners.