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US/Turkey Relations

In Turkey’s 24 June elections, President Erdoğan has won both enhanced presidency and a coalition majority in parliament that also comprises Turkish nationalist as well. It remains to be seen to what extent the consequences of Turkey’s elections will touch upon the relations between Turkey and the US. The question is how the US might make it through the coming years, possibly even a decade or more, with an erstwhile ally moving in a different system?

The current occupant of the White House makes these questions more difficult than they would normally be. He is on the outs with Erdogan, but not for example Turkey’s relations with Russia. Trump and Erdogan might agree entirely on those issues. But President Trump has continued to insist on supporting the PYD/YPG (Syrain extension of terrorist organization of PKK) in the fight against ISIS and hasn’t proven much help on the extradition of Gulen, which are the two things Erdogan cares about the most.

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Daniel SERWER
Prof., Middle East Institute, Washington D.C.

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