The transatlantic alliance is being tested with recent developments in the Middle East, North Africa, Black Sea basin, and Asia, and it is time for rapprochement between Turkey and U.S., according to Turkey’s ambassador to Washington.
In an article posted on Oct. 17 on the Defense One website, Hasan Murat Mercan said political, social, and security fractures are triggering mass refugee flows and increased asymmetrical threats that require both nations to revisit their partnership.
“But transitioning transatlantic security priorities to an era of great power competition inevitably will necessitate exploring venues of gradual rapprochement between Turkey and the United States,” said Mercan.
In the piece, the diplomat called the transatlantic community “complex and delicate.”
“If left unchecked, seemingly stand-alone crises and conflicts across ‘Greater Eurasia’ would trigger a chain reaction politically, socially, economically, and security-wise with global repercussions,” he added.
Mercan said Ankara and Washington need “optimal” partnership engagements “if we are to continue operating together in non-permissive and semi-permissive environments.”
“Any recalibration of those transatlantic engagements in the region must include capable, willing, and reliable allies and partners if they are to produce timely and lasting solutions,” he wrote. “Turkey remains one of those allies and partners.”
Turkey’s vital role, unique capacity
He cited Turkey’s contribution in Afghanistan after U.S. withdrawal in late August, saying the situation there reaffirmed that transatlantic actors must continue to work together as security providers.
“The fall of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals in less than 10 days, which led to the rapid collapse of the Afghan government, caught the world by surprise. The unexpected turn of events and images of desperation coming from Kabul International Airport will haunt the international community for a long time,” said Mercan.
Stating that Turkey played a vital role in Afghanistan, Mercan explained how Ankara engaged with Taliban for an inclusive government, provided humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, and deployed technical teams to reopen the Kabul airport.
“This once again showcased Turkish unique capacity that cannot be substituted by or sub-contracted to any other state or non-state actor in ‘Greater Eurasia’,” Mercan wrote.
Noting that Turkey enjoys a military scale that is unique in the region and ranks high within NATO, the ambassador said Turkey will continue to offer the best practice for merging democracy with globalization, urbanization, and modernization in Greater Eurasia.
“Turkey’s centuries of insight and experience in Greater Eurasia will surely help the transatlantic community, in whatever reimagined form it takes, establish realistic end-states and – if and when needed – viable exit strategies,” he added.
Hurriyet Daily News