For the first time, the US appears to be confronting Turkey over its fueling of conflict all over the Middle East.
https://www.jpost.com-By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Pompeo’s trip appeared to illustrate a new US commitment to listening to Athens and Nicosia, rather than appeasing Ankara’s aggression. The trip raised eyebrows in Ankara where leaders have gotten used to bashing the US while also having a direct line to the White House.
Ankara’s far-right media called her murder a successful “neutralization.”
Instead of the double game where the US coddles Turkey with some diplomats but expresses concern with others, the trip purposely avoided meeting Turkish officials. Over the years Ankara’s officials have gotten used to meeting with Russia and Iran while always bashing European and western leaders. Turkey does not take the West seriously and thinks slandering the US, France, Germany, Austria, Holland and other countries is how to get progress from western officials. Turkish pro-government media for instance, regularly bashes the US while not critiquing Russia and Iran the same way.
For years the pro-Ankara lobby in Washington sold the White House on a theory that Turkey would work with the US against Iran. However Turkey supported trade with Iran and opposed US sanctions and wanted the Iran Deal to remain. Turkey regularly hosts Iranian delegations and greets them warmly. Turkey works with Iran and Russia in Syria to sideline the US. Ankara accuses the US of working with “terrorists” in Syria but has never used similar language against Iran. It may be that the US State Department is merely playing both sides, but Pompeo’s high level visits to Greece and Cyprus appear to show a shift in attitude.
To show the US who was boss Ankara harassed a US soldier at an airport in Turkey, detained a US pastor of false charges, and imprisoned a US consular employee, as well as harassing US journalists. Ankara believed the US would appease its policies and get into line. Now Ankara’s attempt to control US foreign policy may be slipping.