A political scientist and analyst has said complex nature of international politics would leave Turkey in a condition where it would struggle with seeking prominence amid US-Russia rivalry.
Mrs. Nuray Mert told Payman Yazdani that it would be too early to speculate about US preferences in the Middle East, since a Trumpian architecture of the region is being waited to take shape; in any rate, Mrs. Mert believes, Turkey, under Erdoğan, would have hard times to gain a position of prominence once it turned out that Trump does not fulfill what Turkey expected; “Trump would not have any reason whatsoever to turn to Turkey with promising policies, unless new situations emerge,” she said.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recently welcomed Trump election. Will Ankara and Washington get closer after long differences during Obama administration?
Since Trump did not express his views on the Middle East well and clear enough, it is hard to speculate the future impacts of his presidency on Turkey-US relations. Erdoğan was angry towards Clinton not only because of her recent remarks on US support for Kurdish forces in Syria, but also because Hilary Clinton is known for her sympathies for US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. Erdoğan may be hoping to convince Trump to bring Gulen back to Turkey, I do not know if it happens and what can be the consequences. As for better relations with US in general, again it is difficult to foresee but I do not expect Trump to change US policy upside down. The bad omen is his sympathy for Netanyahu of Israel, that he may be more supportive of the aspiring Saudi-İsraeli-Turkish alliance against Iran and its friends. Yet, again, I am not sure that such big shifts will happen abruptly, besides we should not forget that it was Hilary Clinton who expressed more hawkish attitude toward Syria. Her interventionist policy led a disaster in Libya and she was promising more disasters if you ask me. Finally, her views on US-Russian relations have been also quite alarming and could trigger more conflict in international arena. Coming back to the prospects of US-Turkey relations, Turkey’s rulers may not get what they expect from Trump, after being very disappointed with Obama under the complex nature of international relations.
What will be the effect of Trump election on resolving Syria crisis and Ankara and Washington differences on Syrian Kurds?
It is assumed that Turkey sought better relations with Russia to compensate the deterioration of relations with US, nevertheless it did not go as Turkey wished since it was Russia which opposed Turkey’s military operation in Syria, rather than US. Even Russia-US rift concerning Syria did not help Turkey to improve its position, it is difficult to assume that better US-Russia relations will give Turkey more room in the Middle East. As for Kurdish politics, this issue is becoming like the foundation of the Jewish state when world powers raced with each other to express support to undermine each other in competition for a firm bastion in the Middle East. I do not see any reason that Trump will lead a more pro-Turkey politics, unless new situations emerge. We have every reason to expect Trump to behave in a more pragmatic way and do not care much about democracy and human rights in Turkey, but who else genuinely cared for that? It has always been US interests which shaped its relations with Turkey after all. Finally, if Turkey expects to find more political space in the Middle East as a result of more isolationist US foreign policy, it may not be as isolationists as some would assume, and after all, political power struggle is so overcrowded in the Middle East and any gap which may be resulted from US isolationism, will trigger more rivalry among regional and local players than an open space waiting Turkey to be filled.