Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his desire to develop relations between Turkey and the United States on the basis of a mutually beneficial approach, as many disagreements have overshadowed relations between two NATO allies in recent years.
“We want to strengthen our cooperation with the new US administration on a win-win basis,” said Erdogan in a video posted on Twitter.
The Turkish head of state also said he was convinced that “the common interests of Turkey and the United States outweigh their differences.”
Turkey accepted Joe Biden’s election with some suspicion, fearing that Washington would be harder on many issues.
Reacting to the 2019 delivery to Turkey of the first set of Russian S-400 air defense systems, the United States excluded Ankara from the F-35 production program and banned the export of weapons to SSB, the Turkish government agency that is responsible for the supply of military equipment.
A first US response, seen as lukewarm by Ankara, to the deaths of 13 Turks in Iraq held by PKK rebels has rekindled tensions this week with Erdogan accusing Washington of backing Kurdish “terrorists.”
Ankara’s anger was quenched by a statement by the US foreign minister who blamed the PKK for the deaths of 13 Turks.
“We expect a clear stand from all our allies after the cowardly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 13 fellow citizens,” said Erdogan tonight.
Ankara’s rejection of the initial US condemnation reflected its distrust of Washington in its policy toward Kurdish rebels.
Washington considered the PKK a terrorist organization, but supported the Kurdish militias of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in their fight against the Islamic State organization. This support for the Kurdish armed organization in Syria has been at the heart of tensions in US-Turkish relations for years.