US-Turkey relations were riddled with conflicts and disagreements during the Trump administration, many of which revolved around Ankara’s purchase of Russian air defence systems, prompted by Washington stalling the sale Patriots for years.
With a new administration in the White House, there is hope for a new direction in foreign policy. However, Turkey may not be one of those who will enjoy a change in relations with Washington, recent statements by Biden’s Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken suggest. The yet-to-be-appointed top diplomat accused Turkey of behaving in a way that is “not acceptable” for a “so-called strategic partner” of the US as he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 20 January.
Blinken specifically slammed Ankara’s decision to buy air defence systems from Russia. This indicates that Biden’s administration is not interested in creating a joint working group with Turkey to iron-out disagreements revolving around the purchase of the Russian S-400 systems, Hakki Pekin, former head of Turkey’s military intelligence believes.
One of the things that will remain unchanged under the new White House team is its intent to use sanctions as a pressure tool against Turkey. Blinken mulled the possibility of expanding existing anti-Turkey sanctions following an analysis of their impact as he spoke during his Senate confirmation hearing. This approach is indicative of the US attitude…