There are less than two months remaining for the big transformation in Washington. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take the Oval Office on Jan. 20 and U.S. politics will then switch to a totally different paradigm after President Donald Trump leaves.
How will this transformation affect Turkey-U.S. relations? Trump and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have had a very close personal relationship and therefore the relations were on track despite a few big problems and obstacles. What will happen with Biden? Can the framework be dramatically changed?
Under Biden, U.S. foreign policy is expected to return to a more institutional ground. He probably will be more open to engaging with the world and more positive toward immigrants, for example.
Despite the expectations for bilateral relations to deteriorate under the new American administration, I am actually feeling positive. I believe Biden is a well-experienced politician who will see that working with a partner like Turkey is extremely important for the U.S. in this region.
The two countries have a long history of being partners, and Turkey is a very strong NATO member.
According to my expectations, despite different approaches in certain matters, both sides will succeed in finding common ground.
The U.S. under the Biden administration will also impact global politics. In this context, power balances might shift in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
With Biden’s presidency, globalism will rise again and the U.S. will pursue more active policies in the world, which might lead Russia to feel more threatened.
For instance, a new dialog with Iran may start again as it did during former President Barack Obama’s term. In addition, Europe may even find a solution to its own existential crisis as it is under threat of whether it is united or not. In other words, with Biden taking the office, Europe may get more engaged with member states.
All these changes will affect Turkey and vice versa. In this context, Erdoğan’s positive messages toward the country’s European Union and U.S. relations were meaningful. He spoke about a common future with the EU and the importance of being in close cooperation with the U.S.
We will probably see a Washington leaning to oppose Moscow, while Russia will definitely try to strengthen relations with Turkey even more.
This will give Ankara a more important role in the region since it will be the key actor in creating a balance. Turkey is the only country that has multidimensional relations. It can engage with Russia as well as with the U.S., but it can also keep its distance from them both at the same time.
In that paradigm, it can be said that the world will be turning back to multidimensional and multipolar politics. I think and hope that we all will remember the advantages of the global system and a multicultural cosmopolitan world.
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