During this very hard struggle, Turkey will have to take many new steps every day but should never lose patience or balance.
Turkey will certainly face a lot of criticism and warnings, sincere or ill intentioned and has to respond to all of them with great patience.
She will also make many mistakes during her journey on this long and narrow road.
She will also sometimes lose the balances in her international relations in order to convince EU members.
Today, I want to give an example of how she may lose the balances.
Turkey’s relations with the U.S. became strained after America’s request to use Turkey’s land for an invasion in to northern Iraq initially looked good but was later denied in a Parliament vote
The U.S. had made many preparations in line with the understanding that permission would be given.
Ever since, relations have never been the same.
They are colder and more distant!
Recently, the negative swing has reached a climax.
After the war in Fallujah, comments from some Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies were seen as more severe than the assault deserved.
These deputies ignored the fact that the U.S. is attempting to destroy the Sunni terrorist elements of al-Qaeda in Fallujah.
They also ignored the fact that the Shiite and Kurdish elements in Iraq indirectly approved the assault.
Previous remarks from Turkish prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling Israel’s attacks on Palestinian war camps “state terror” annoyed both Israel and the Jewish community living in America.
Last but not least, it was disclosed last week that for five weeks Erdogan has been avoiding a request from U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman for a meeting. I hope that they would have met while this article was being written.
You are either with us or against us.
Last week, when I listened to the lecture of Max Boot, regarded as one of the close advisors to the U.S. President on the Middle East, I was sure that without in-depth analysis the Bush administration could reach strong and one-sided convictions very easily.
Thus Turkish-U.S. relations have entered a very delicate stage because of the one-sided approach from both sides.
However, I trust that this delicate stage may hurt Turkey more than the U.S. on the eve of Dec 17.
The U.S. has been a sincere and overall loyal ally of Turkey in recent history. She has been more sincere to Turkey than many European countries and has openly backed Turkey’s EU bid.
We should not act selfishly and ignore the U.S. in order to get closer to the EU. We should do our best to become a member of the EU, but should never forget the history of Turkish-U.S. relations. Otherwise, it will be us who will be hurt most!