Turks feel uncomfortable about the U.S.'s position in northern Syria, which sometimes directly and at times indirectly paves the way for terror organizations, all of which pose a huge threat to Turkey's national security
Those of us who believe in Turkish-American relations and who have received an award from the Turkish Atlantic Council in the past for our services to enhancing these relations are watching in alarm as Turkish public opinion progressively turns against the United States.
The Americans tried to impose their will on Turkey in the 1960s to prevent Turkish intervention in Cyprus and the famous Johnson letter and then in the 1970s when the American Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey that eventually paralyzed our U.S.-supplied air force after Turkey intervened in 1974 in Cyprus to save the Turkish Cypriot community that was being slaughtered by Greek Cypriot hordes who had toppled the Makarios administration. Since then, the Turkish people have been looking up at the U.S. with mixed feelings of suspicion and respect for a superpower ally.
Many Turks did not like what they saw and heard as the Americans established a dominance in Northern Iraq in the Kurdish territories in the 1990s. Along with Turkey, Britain and France, the Americans helped to create a safe zone and a no-fly zone in northern Iraq that prohibited Saddam Hussein's forces from entering or flying planes. The operation called Provide Comfort also unfortunately allowed the Americans to court the PKK terrorists who were holed up in the Qandil Mountains in Northern Iraq. That is where many Syrian Kurds also joined the ranks of the PKK to launch terrorist attacks inside Turkey. Even today the American role in all this is still being questioned by many Turks.
When it comes to recent times, Turks continue to hear contact between the PKK and the U.S. despite the fact that Washington repeatedly says it regards the PKK as a terrorist organization.
Today, however, the picture is quite different. The so-called Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its fighting unit People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria are being openly supported by the US. The PYD and its sidekick the YPG have been borne out of the PKK and are being used by the PKK to infiltrate its militants into Turkey from northern Syria to terrorize cities and towns in southeastern Turkey. What is sad is that the arms and especially the ammunition captured by the PKK terrorists are American made. They are the arms and ammunition the U.S. gave to the PYD and YPG to fight DAESH terrorists.
What is even sadder is the fact that while the PYD has been misleading the Americans, saying that it aims to destroy DAESH, they have joined forces with the Assad regime, just like the Russians and the Iranians, to fight the Syrian opposition forces. The recent fight in the Azaz region just near the Turkish border is between the YPG forces and the opposition army. DAESH does not exist in the area. The YPG forces are also advancing on Tal Rifaat to take the city from Syrian opposition forces and thus strengthen the encirclement of Aleppo by the Assad forces. So the YPG and the PYD are in fact aiding Assad and are not at all fighting DAESH. All the Americans can do is to tell the PYD not to get carried away with expansionist ideals and get back to the fight against DAESH. Give them arms, provide them with logistical support and training and then try to tame the monster you have created. The Turkish public is watching this charade in anger and has started to question the value of our strategic alliance with the U.S. Can anyone blame them?