Obstacles To US-Turkish Relations

Many Turkish officials believe that several issues remain unresolved between the United States and their nation despite the election of Barack Obama. Issues such as the situation on Cyprus, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Armenian genocide are regarded as sore points that remain obstacles to US-Turkish relations. Senator Biden has close ties with the Greek community and is believed to be sympathetic to Greek claims on Cyprus while Obama has frequently spoken about the genocide carried out by the Turkish government against Armenians early in the 20th century. The presence of Kurdish forces inside Iraq is an unresolved issue that continually creates tension in the region and Turkey would like to see the American-Iranian conflict resolved in a peaceful manner.

Prime Minister Erdogan is dubious about Obama statements that Afghanistan requires more US troops and would prefer dealing with issues through means of negotiations. His government also is worried that removal of American forces in Iraq will open new possibilities for Kurdish guerrillas to carry out attacks on Turkish forces. A sore point bound to become a thorn in efforts to establish peaceful relations between the US and Turkey is the well known commitment of Obama and Biden to Armenian claims there was a genocide.

It is about time that Turkey ask an international body of impartial historians to investigate the question of a genocide carried out against Armenians and submit a report. That will end the conflict once and for all.

Related Posts