By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
The Turkish-U.S. relationship can be saved and improved provided that "the U.S. administration takes Turkey's security concerns seriously," Turkey's presidential spokesman said.
In a column, titled “Basic rule of Turkish-US relations: Mutual respect and shared interest,” published on Saturday in Daily Sabah, Ibrahim Kalin said the U.S. took a series of steps in recent years to undermine its strategic partnership with Turkey and weaken a relationship that had been strong and mutually productive.
"Washington's Faustian pact with that terrorist group, which the Obama administration promised would be "temporary, transactional and tactical," at the time, was adopted by the Trump administration last year. While it is true that the current administration has gradually distanced itself from U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM) strategy and, as part of this effort, agreed to a road map for the YPG's long-awaited withdrawal from Manbij, the lack of a concrete policy change continues to haunt the relationship,” Kalin wrote.
“Turkey is justified to expect that the U.S. disengage from the YPG militants, who are currently in talks with the Assad regime, without delay," he added.
Kalin said Trump administration's "unwillingness" to take concrete steps to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) on U.S. soil has been "disappointing, to say the least, for Turkey."
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen were behind the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
The Presidential aide wrote that Turkey "cannot turn a blind eye to the actions of a NATO ally when they threaten its national security at home and abroad."
"President Trump may have good intentions for relations with President Erdogan and Turkey," he said, adding: "This will certainly be reciprocated when the relationship is based on mutual respect and shared interest."
Tension between the two NATO allies increased once again when U.S. President Donald Trump sent a tweet threatening to impose sanctions on Turkey if pastor Andrew Craig Brunson -- who faces terrorism-related charges -- is not released.
Ankara has balked strongly at Trump threatening Turkey with sanctions if it does not release Brunson, who is charged with spying for the PKK -- a designated terrorist group in the U.S. and Turkey -- and the FETO.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.