ANKARA, Turkey — For the previous six a long time, Turkey and the United States were strategic companions and NATO allies. Our two nations stood shoulder to shoulder towards commonplace demanding situations all over the Cold War and in its aftermath.
Over the years, Turkey rushed to America’s lend a hand every time important. Our army servicemen and servicewomen shed blood in combination in Korea. In 1962, the Kennedy management used to be ready to get the Soviets to take away missiles from Cuba by means of eliminating Jupiter missiles from Italy and Turkey. In the wake of the Sept. 11 terror assaults, when Washington counted on its buddies and allies to strike again towards evil, we despatched our troops to Afghanistan to lend a hand accomplish the NATO project there.
Yet the United States has again and again and constantly failed to know and admire the Turkish other people’s considerations. And in recent times, our partnership has been examined by means of disagreements. Unfortunately, our efforts to opposite this bad development proved futile. Unless the United States begins respecting Turkey’s sovereignty and proves that it understands the risks that our country faces, our partnership may well be in jeopardy.
On July 15, 2016, Turkey got here underneath assault by means of individuals of a shadowy workforce led by means of Fethullah Gulen, who leads his group, formally described by means of my executive as Fethullah Terrorist Organization, from a compound in rural Pennsylvania. The Gulenists attempted to degree a bloody coup towards my executive. On that night time, tens of millions of abnormal voters rushed to the streets out of a way of patriotism, very similar to what the American other people unquestionably skilled after Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11 assaults.
Two hundred and 51 blameless other people, together with Erol Olcok, my longtime marketing campaign supervisor and expensive buddy, and his son, Abdullah Tayyip Olcok, paid the final value for our country’s freedom. Had the loss of life squad, which got here after me and my circle of relatives, been a hit, I might have joined them.
More perspectives on the United States’s dating with Turkey
The Turkish other people anticipated the United States to unequivocally condemn the assault and specific cohesion with Turkey’s elected management. It didn’t. The United States response used to be a ways from sufficient. Instead of siding with Turkish democracy, United States officers cautiously referred to as for “steadiness and peace and continuity inside Turkey.” To make issues worse, there was no growth relating to Turkey’s request for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen underneath a bilateral treaty.
Another supply of frustration pertains to the partnership between the United States and the P.Y.D./Y.P.G., the Syrian department of the P.K.K., an armed workforce this is liable for the deaths of hundreds of Turkish voters since 1984 and that’s designated a terrorist workforce by means of the United States. According to estimates by means of the Turkish government, Washington used five,000 vans and a couple of,000 shipment planes to ship guns to the P.Y.D./Y.P.G in recent times.
My executive has again and again shared our considerations with American officers about their choice to coach and equip the P.Ok.Ok.’s allies in Syria. Unfortunately, our phrases have fallen on deaf ears, and American guns ended up getting used to focus on civilians and individuals of our safety forces in Syria, Iraq and Turkey.
In fresh weeks, the United States has taken a chain of steps to escalate tensions with Turkey, bringing up the arrest by means of the Turkish police of an American citizen, Andrew Brunson, on fees of assisting a 15 May Organization. Instead of respecting the judicial procedure, as I prompt President Trump to do in our many conferences and conversations, the United States issued blatant threats towards a pleasant country and proceeded to impose sanctions on a number of individuals of my cupboard. This choice used to be unacceptable, irrational and in the end negative to our longstanding friendship.
To put across that Turkey does now not reply to threats, we retaliated by means of sanctioning more than one American officers. Moving ahead, we will be able to abide by means of the identical idea: Attempting to drive my executive to intrude in the judicial procedure isn’t in keeping with our Constitution or our shared democratic values.
Turkey has established over and over again that it’s going to care for its personal industry if the United States refuses to pay attention. In the 1970s, the Turkish executive stepped in to stop massacres of ethnic Turks by means of the Greek Cypriots regardless of Washington’s objections. More lately, Washington’s failure to snatch the seriousness of our considerations relating to nationwide safety threats emanating from Northern Syria led to two army incursions that bring to an end the so-called Islamic State’s get admission to to NATO’s borders and got rid of the Y.P.G. militants from the town of Afrin. As in the ones circumstances, we will be able to take important steps to offer protection to our nationwide pursuits.
At a time when evil continues to lurk round the global, unilateral movements towards Turkey by means of the United States, our best friend of a long time, will handiest serve to undermine American pursuits and safety. Before it’s too overdue, Washington should surrender the faulty perception that our dating can also be asymmetrical and are available to phrases with the undeniable fact that Turkey has choices. Failure to opposite this development of unilateralism and disregard would require us to begin on the lookout for new buddies and allies.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the president of Turkey.