....Nowadays nobody speaks of a Partnership Model or a Strategic Partnership in the White House
Obamas greatest disappointment: Erdogan
November 23, 2010
MEHMET ALI BIRAND
According to some authorities following relations between the Obama administration and Turkey, the president's greatest disappointment was despite petitioning Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for 45 minutes, Erdoan did not change his vote in respect to Iran and has given brisk speeches in respect to Israel.
And according to one authority who knows about the content of the last meeting in Toronto, it was not like a dialogue between allies but like "two angry old friends settling their accounts."
Turkey is not very popular in the White House these days. Whereas when Obama first came to power Turkey was his priority. He called it "Partnership Model," a strategic cooperation-strategic partnership.
But Turkey's Iran and Israel politics led to hurt in the relations. Nowadays nobody speaks of a Partnership Model or a Strategic Partnership.
When asked about relations with Turkey, they say:
" a good old friend we lost
an unreliable NATO ally
a country that acts as it pleases"
I am not exaggerating.
I am pessimistic about what I've heard.
Crossing a line
There are two reasons.
Foremost it is because Turkey crossed the line of its former politics and grew out of it viewing the world differently. It sees itself as a power active in the region contributing to solutions.
But steps that are taken to reach the target upset Washington. Former big brother cant handle its little brother behaving independently now. It can't change former habits.
The American authority reflected the atmosphere in the White House as follows:
"You told us that the [Kurdistan Workers' Party] PKK is your national problem and we supported you Iran is a national issue for us, but you vetoed despite the U.S. president petitioning for 45 minutes not to veto. You left us alone. Where is the alliance? This relationship has gone sour.
Obama still holds onto the Turkey project
Despite all anger and resentment President Obama still wants to continue waiting until 2011 elections before burning bridges.
Interesting words were pronounced by the authority hinting at how tension in the White House can be eased regarding Turkey: "Your prime minister and foreign minister are so tough in respect to the Israel issue that if they would keep quiet just a bit, we'd decrease tension in the air. If it werent for the president, the red-tape would tear Turkey apart. It's the civil servants who are really angry."
Foreign Ministry upset, Pentagon silent
So what about Turkey's former ally on whose door Turkey would knock when in trouble?
They too are upset.
A diplomat who says that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to some extent still controls the civil servants in the U.S. Department of State, said, "The State Department traditionally perceived Turkey as a close friend. It supported the AKP in coming to power and its first years. Today some of us feel personally betrayed. If it weren't for Hillary the situation would be worse. Hillary and Obama ease reactions to some extent."
Meanwhile, there is deep silence at the Pentagon.
A source who pointed out that Turkey stabbed him in the back during the bill event (bill on sending troops to Iraq) before the invasion of Iraq said, "The Pentagon knows what happened to the [Turkish Armed Forces] TSK. But if it interferes, reactions against the TSK would increase. That is why it keeps silent. But please notice that the Pentagon did not just recently cross you out. It happened during the bill event. It is impossible to go back to our previous relationship. From now on a cold and distanced relationship will prevail. And don't keep your hopes high in respect to the PKK issue."
In short, at the moment Washington is for Ankara a capital with closed doors. Nobody wants to encounter Turks. Doors are kept tightly closed especially for Turkish authorities who might come looking for a favor.