Thursday, February 2, 2017

In Turkey, US Loss Is China's Gain

With relations with the United States in tatters, the ‘Eurasianers’ in Turkey look to accelerate ties with China

By George Marshall Lerner

The Diplomat - January 31, 2017

Henry Kissinger once opined that worsening state-to-state relations can be like a car crash — the result is easy to recognize but it’s notoriously hard to pin down what could have been done to avoid it. Despite the fact that ties between the United States and Turkey date back to the dawn of Cold War in the 1950s, relations between NATO’s two largest armies have deteriorated so rapidly that Russia now provides the majority of air support for the Turkish Army’s ongoing battle against the Islamic State near Al-Bab, Northern Syria.
There are two underlying causes for the breakdown in relations between Turkey and the United States. One is America’s support for the forces fighting for the Kurdish enclaves in Northern Syria, and the other is Washington’s unwillingness to extradite the cleric Fethullah Gülen back to Turkey. As the U.S.-Turkey relationship frays, China is poised to fill the gap.