By Kamila Aliyeva
Two key NATO allies -- Turkey and the U.S. -- have recently experienced hardships in mutual understanding due to a number of reasons, including the arrest of American Embassy's employee, Turkey's purchase of S-400 and extradition of Fethullah Gulen.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim believes that there are three main problems which should be resolved in order for Turkey and the U.S. to remain allies, Turkish media outlets reported on November 29.
The first problem in the relations between Turkey and the U.S. is linked to the fact that the States arms the YPG (People’s Protection Units) and PYD (Democratic Union Party), which are the Syrian wing of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) terrorist group, the minister believes.
The second problem in relations between the two countries is related to the fact that the U.S. doesn’t extradite the leader of the Hizmet movement Fethullah Gulen, who is involved in the military coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, Yildirim added.
“The third problem in the relations between Washington and Ankara is that negative attitude towards the U.S. has already formed in Turkey, and the U.S. authorities don’t make any attempts to change this attitude,” he said.
He noted that Turkey’s discontent regarding the U.S. is mainly due to suspension of visa issuance to Turkish citizens. This move was met with similar action from the Turkish side.
The rapprochement between Turkey, Russia and Iran is also a subject of the West’s concerns.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressing a speech in Washington today stated that the United States understands the need for Turkey's interaction with Iran, given its close geographical location and cultural ties, but this interaction must take place in the interests of all NATO members.
“We are aware that Turkey, due to its close cultural and geographical ties, should cooperate with Iran, but at the same time it should not forget that as a member of NATO it must take into account the interests of the alliance,” he said.
However, Turkey’s membership in NATO has not helped the country when it needed it.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) did not give Turkey the necessary support in the military sphere, according to Yildirim.
Despite the fact that Turkey was repeatedly subjected to rocket fire from Syria, NATO did not take any steps to protect the country.
He noted that precisely because of this, Turkey acquired Russian S-400 air defense systems in order to protect its territories.
“Turkey has the right to undertake everything necessary to protect its territories,” the minister said.
The deal on S-400 raised eyebrows among Ankara’s fellow NATO members, especially the U.S., and caused concerns as they are supposed to only buy compatible weapons systems from other members.
Turkey has the second-largest military force in NATO, after the U.S., but ties among the NATO allies have worsened last July after a failed coup attempt. Relations further deteriorated following an April referendum which expanded the powers of the president.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz