For a nation like Turkey, which has faced great diplomatic crises like the Johnson Letter that led to a dramatic crisis with the U.S., it is impossible to be shocked by the actions and threatening messages from U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
However, it is impossible not to feel sad seeing one of the biggest international organizations, NATO, reduced to a crumbling and weak alliance due to these unreasonable actors' decisions. No one in their right mind would believe that one day, the U.S., the leader of this giant military alliance, would threaten one of its most significant members, Turkey, in such a rude and unfair way.
Do all of the problems behind the ongoing crisis belong to the U.S. side? I don't think so… I need to say that Turkey made a huge mistake by failing to have seen so far the heinous activities of an evangelical U.S. pastor in the country until he was finally found guilty of participating in the July 15 bloody coup plot that killed some 250 innocent people in 2016.
Turkey's second mistake was releasing the pastor, who was detained for his terror-supporting actions and placing him under house arrest. At first sight, the story was seen as if the first step of a bargain with the U.S. was accomplished and later the pastor would be extradited to the U.S.; therefore, both Trump and Pence were disappointed and started threatening Turkey. We cannot know which road map will be chosen by the state, but Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, calling his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo on the issue, implies that a negotiation process may start soon. However, millions of ordinary Turkish people like me, who do not have the great responsibility a state has, would have an opportunity to give the U.S. leaders a piece of their minds.
It is known by all that the Trump administration has been acting recklessly and irrationally in diplomacy and foreign policy, causing the U.S.' fall from grace in the international system and broke its relations with other countries, too.
President Trump's controversial decision on Jerusalem was his effort to win the hearts of the evangelicals, who are believed to be the triggering factor behind the U.S. policy on the detained pastor. Thus, the U.S. leaders' recent harsh reaction toward Ankara for the sake of an evangelical spy can be seen as another attempt to seem sympathetic to the evangelical decision-makers.