COMMENTS: The US/Turkish relations have not been rosy for a while now. They have been souring (at least visibly) since the failed coup against President Erdogan a couple of years ago, which Turkey insinuated was supported clandestinely by the US through the Fethulla opposition organization.
Then, the US sided with the Kurds in Syria, totally ignoring Turkey’s warnings against this. So, Turkey got chummy with Russia, to the US’s chagrin, and approved the Russian South Stream gas pipeline through Turkey to Southern Europe.
The last straw seems to be Turkey’s purchase of the Russian state-of-the-art S-400 anti-missile system, to which the US has retaliated by threatening to stop the delivery of the US F-35 war planes already bought by Turkey and insinuated that it could impose sanctions on Turkey for dealing with the Russian defense industry.
And to top it all, Turkey recently announced that it will ignore the US sanctions on Iran and continue trading with it, which is a sanctionable offense.
Now, the US has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if it does not release a US pastor held on state security charges, as well as other non-US citizens who worked for the US embassy in Ankara and are suspected of being involved in the failed coup, thus totally disregarding Turkey’s sovereign right to an independent judicial due process.
Obviously, this tit-for-tat stepping on each other’s toes must be painful and extremely vexing, but it nevertheless continues.
The latest, and the weirdest, is the news that the US Senate is expected to pass a bill instructing such international institutions as the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the IFC, etc. to stop lending money to Turkey. This is a rather a below-the-belt punch, as Turkey is going through a rough economic patch and needs to get its house in order, probably via some bridging loans from the so-called international organizations. (The weird part is the question: Can a country issue such instructions to international organizations?)
So, when should we expect US Sanctions to be slapped on turkey? Who would then remain unsanctioned? Timbuktu? But that is part of Mali and is already in hot water.
P.S. Since writing, it transpires that US sanctions have already begun on two Turkish government ministers and have been reciprocated by Turkey.
NEGATIVE FOR: Turkey and much of the World as more instability and disruption spreads. Definitely negative for NATO, as Turkey is an important cog in NATO’s system wheels and its vision of being part of Europe is rapidly waning. Turkey is now seriously considering joining BRICS economic cooperation agreement and already is a “dialogue Member” of SCO (the Shanghai Cooperation Council).
POSITIVE FOR: the USA in the short term. However, in the longer term, it could be positive for the entire world, in that Turkey’s sanctions may be one of the last few cards left before the world moves away from unipolarism towards multipolarism… or new wars break out.
IMPACT POTENTIAL: High
TIME SCOPE: Short to Medium Term