“Turkey’s first choice is to be in the F-35 fighter program and its exclusion due to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 ( CAATSA ) is an unfair and illegal practice.” Government speaker Ibrahim Kalin said this after the recent G-20 summit between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden . In Ankara, optimism is filtered about a new phase of relations between the two countries, even if the obstacles have not been removed for now. But those words could really open a new phase between Erdogan and Biden without a backtrack on burning cases like the S400 QUI ANKARA
First of all it should be remembered that Turkey has made a payment of 1.4 billion dollars for the F-35 program: according to Kalin and on the agenda of the United States Congress a bill to make an exception for the India and Australia, which are now receiving the S-400. And he added that if the problem with the F-35s is not solved, then “we don’t have the luxury of wasting time, but we can try to compensate for that with the F-16s. The US administration has shown a positive attitude towards this so far ”. SANCTIONS
The thesis advocated by Kalin is that if the problem is “to impose sanctions only on countries that unilaterally buy heavy weapons from Russia, because exceptions are made to these countries
If there is no such rule, why are these sanctions imposed on Turkey
”. And he added that Ankara’s priority is to satisfy Turkey’s needs in the field of defense industry: the reference and, evidently, to the alternatives in Erdogan’s hands, such as the self-produced drones that were also proposed on the occasion of the recent trip of the President in Africa. Finally he issued a warning to other players: “If we were to list four to five geopolitical issues that directly affect world politics at the moment, such as Afghanistan, the Eastern Mediterranean , Syria, the Caucasus and Libya, they are all connected. to Turkey “. OPEN FACES
After the proclamations, realpolitik. The starting point is the fact that NATO ‘s two largest armies are going through a crisis of relations, severely tested by Turkish ties with China and Russia and by Erdogan’s attempt to become a maxi player in the entire region straddling the Euro-Mediterranean quadrant and the Middle Eastern / Caucasian one. Here the dialogue between Washington and Ankara begins to falter , with the appendix of case F35 which is the natural consequence of Turkish conduct oriented towards a neo-Ottoman strategic depth, as written by former premier Ahmet Davutoglu in his 2011 volume.
The critical dossiers are numerous and all interconnected. Turkey would like to buy 40 new F-16s from Lockheed Martin for $ 6 billion while the United States has finalized the removal of Turkey from the F-35 program following the acquisition of the S-400 missile defense system (which it bought in 2019 and of which a second purchase is negotiating with Moscow). Furthermore, on the one hand the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) supported the United States to fight the Islamic State in Syria, on the other hand it is seen as a deadly enemy by Erdogan.
Finally, the case of the philanthropist Fethullah Gulen, in exile in Pennsylvania, accused by Erdogan of having orchestrated the coup of 2016. On the other hand, Ankara has arrested the American pastor, Andrew Brunson , for suspected involvement in the attempted coup without forgetting the Turkish irritation for the new American allies in the Mediterranean ( Greece and Cyprus which, unlike Ankara, move within the framework of international law). ROUTE OF EXIT
The question relating to the Turkish decision to expel ten ambassadors demanding the release of entrepreneur Osman Kavala, did not benefit Turkish-American relations. Nor should it be forgotten that Turkey’s relations with its traditional NATO allies have already been strained for years. The immigration and energy dossiers have simply impacted on an already largely complex framework, on which other subjects external to the dispute are moving to take advantage of it.
Turkey, for example, after Libya, Syria and Africa , is working with the lights off in the Balkans to carve out a leading role. The decision to build an airport in Albania out of his own pocket proves this, following the Chinese “track” linked to the BRI and the invasiveness linked to infrastructures. As important as the deal linked to the privatization of ports in Greece, where for the ports of callAlexandroupolis and Kavala (strategic for their proximity to the gas pipelines) Beijing would like to hamper US plans through Turkish adherence to Thrace.
The feeling is that the White House will try to seek cooperation where it is possible, rejecting, when necessary, Erdogan’s leaks forward.

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