Turkey, US sit down to 'mend fences'


Turkish and American officials have gathered in Washington for a series of meetings that aims to mend fences between Ankara and Washington over an array of issues.

For the talks to be successful the two sides first have to agree on what the actual problems are and how and why they occurred in the first place.

There is a belief in Washington that Turkey has drifted away from the West in general and the United States in particular and thus it should be tamed by American sanctions. The people who support this presume that the U.S. and its allies are not responsible for the deterioration in relations and that it is actually Turkey that has been pushing its allies to the breaking point.

If the American negotiators that will face the Turkish delegation in Washington enter the talks with such a frame of mind then the negotiations will go nowhere.Turkey has not drifted away from the West or its values. Turkey has been pushed away and alienated but still has no intention of parting with the West or its values.

Can anyone deny that Turkey and its democracy has been under assault from the outside and from within the country since 2007? We have suffered numerous interventions of all kinds and still have managed to drag on suffering heavy blows. The Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) has tried numerous times, from 2010 until today, to topple the Erdoğan administration and people abroad have helped them. So under those extraordinary conditions Turkey has had to take extraordinary measures that culminated with the declaration of a "state of emergency" after the July 15, 2016 bloody coup attempt.

So Turkey has not actually parted from the course of upholding democratic values and norms but it has had to take extraordinary steps to actually preserve them and restore rule of law.

Yet, is it a secret that the gang leader Fetullah Gülen and many of his followers have found sanctuary in the U.S.? Is it a secret that they are being financed through the American system via charter schools for about $1 billion of U.S. taxpayer's money? Is it a secret that these people that are running amok in the U.S. are being allowed to undertake all kinds of activities against the elected government of Turkey?

If these are not secrets and this is the actual state of affairs then can you call the people who approve of this your "friends and allies?"

Is it a secret that the U.S. accepts the PKK organization as a terrorist group fighting a secessionist war in Turkey? Then is it a secret that the U.S. is actually supporting and financing the Syrian militant groups the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People's Protection Units (YPG), which are now accepted by many Western countries, led by Britain, as an extension of the PKK? Is it a secret that the U.S. has provided heavy arms to the PYD and YPG and has promised to collect them once the fight against Daesh is over? Is it a secret that the U.S. promised Turkey that the PYD and YPG will vacate the Syrian Arab city of Manbij, but has failed to keep their word?

So it is really trivial to talk about the Russians trying to push a wedge between Turkey and the U.S. when the Americans are doing such a great job at achieving this themselves.

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