U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Janet Yellen's presentation in front of the U.S. Congress seems to be the most topical item on the economic agenda; however, it does not imply a strategy for significant market analysts. This is because, like many U.S. institutions, the Fed does not know what to do and how to take a step. This quandary comes to the fore as a result of the existing balance between old traditional sectors and new technologic sectors. The U.S.'s military-industrial structures want the Fed to continue on its path with an overvalued dollar by increasing interest rates as in 1995 and overcome the crisis through war-based politics. These structures, and the financial oligarchy that holds them under an umbrella, have not completely lost their power yet. The Fed's "early" interest rate hike has come as a result of pressure from this circle; however, they have realized that they cannot continue with high interest rates. So, Yellen's ambiguous and open-ended remarks maintain the uncertainty that should be interpreted as a new state of balance.
This state of uncertainty, which is also a kind of balance, goes for the political arena as well. China and the U.S. in the Pacific region, as well as Russia and the U.S. in the Caucasus and Middle East, constitute an ambivalent state of balance and uncertainty. The U.S. strives to maintain the existing balance in the Pacific region by trying to control China and moves towards an implicit sharing with Russia and Iran in the Caucasus and Middle East. China and Japan take steps not only to change economic balances for the U.S. in the Pacific region, but also political balances by activating new politics that will change the balances that emerged after World War II. This being the case, the Caucasus, Middle East, Mediterranean and even eastern Europe are ceasing to be the regions that the U.S. can "handle" with its "old" allies such as Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel, as it used to. More precisely, old allies (strategic partners) are no longer as they used to be. For instance, the current Turkey is far different from the Turkey of the 1970s, 1980s and even 1990s. Certainly, a strong Turkey is as a new development as the emergence of a new state in the Pacific region.
The U.S. does not regard the People's Protection Units (YPG) as a terrorist organization although it is a direct affiliate of the PKK. The rising divergences between Turkey and the U.S. about the Syrian crisis and the concomitant counterterrorism in the region are not tactical problems in politics, but a direct consequence of the aforementioned ambivalent state of balance strategy. It is a major problem for NATO that the U.S. does not consider the YPG to be a terrorist organization and establish a connection between the PKK and the YPG, as the PKK's terrorist attacks on Turkey can also be considered to be carried out by the YPG. So, the U.S. provides logistical and moral support for a paramilitary terrorist organization that attacks a NATO member. This reality alone is a major problem for Turkish-U.S. relations in the medium and long term.
It is ceasing to be a sustainable game for the U.S. to insistently draw a distinction between the PKK and the YPG. If the PKK had not resorted to violence in Turkey, this organic relationship would not pose a problem now. However, the PKK's violent acts and Turkey's consistent utterance of the relation between the PKK and the YPG brings its relations with the U.S. and NATO into question. This is the main reason why the U.S. does not regard the YPG as a terrorist organization. If it says the PKK and the YPG are one and the same, this is a serious problem for NATO as well. However, whether the U.S. accepts it or not, the PKK and the YPG are the same structures, which have the same founders and operate with the same ideology and management hierarchy.
The U.S. maintains the same uncertain balance with Russia and Iran. Also, the U.S. and Israel might disagree on their perspectives of Hezbollah soon. So, nobody should be surprised by talks and statements that are being made currently. Turkey can act differently from the U.S. in the region in accordance with its national interests. Certainly, this does not imply a new state of balance and a deep-rooted crisis in qualitative terms, but a very different situation from the past.
Considering all this, it might be misleading to claim that there is a crisis and interpret all of Turkey's current tendencies in economy and foreign politics by leaning on the U.S. as it did in the past. Moreover, the EU and the U.S. no longer play a determinative role in the Turkey-EU and Turkey-U.S. relations and balances as in the past, as Turkey has begun setting both its domestic politics and regional political stance in direct accordance with its long-term interests. In this case, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's criticism of the U.S. for its policy on the YPG is no more than the daily political developments that came as a result of this new situation. As Erdoğan underlines on every occasion, Turkey will maintain its firm political stance on the region.
Likewise, the recovery in Turkish-Israeli relations, which points to a new era, is a result of Turkey's multifaceted and constructive regional policy and we should be ready for major developments based on that.
I hope German Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent visit to Turkey will usher in a new era in Turkey-EU relations, even if it is through the refugee crisis. Or rather, I hope Germany has begun understanding Turkey, as this is a step toward understanding the crisis both in the EU and the U.S.