November 8th was the day the Americans elected their 45th President. The entire world watched the election as the one-year-long tough campaign process finally came to an end. There was worldwide interest since the result would have ramifications just about in every part of the world. Of course, Turkey was also closely monitoring the developments since lately the relationship with its long term ally the US, had been tense.
When Americans elected Obama as their new president back in 2008, they were hopeful that he would bring change to America because his campaign was predicated on the change. Yet, with very few exceptions, nothing really changed. He became another figure within the US establishment since WWII and with more less the same policies as previous administrations. Furthermore, Turkey was hopeful to improve their relations when Obama came to office and they considered inviting him to Turkey on his first official visit and took that as an important sign. Even though Turkey-US relations improved during the first years of his presidency, tensions exacerbated especially when the administration initiated hawkish policies in the region and supplied military support to the PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK.
Now, having Trump as their new President, the American people are more hopeful. They elected him despite the mainstream media’s powerful support and promotion of his opponent. This shows how powerful the will of the American people was and how they are in need of restoring their values. Trump came to power by putting forth that he would put America first and focus more on his people rather than directly interfering in the clashes in other parts of the world. If Clinton were elected, they knew she would have similar policies with the current administration and would not satisfy their desires for change. Though it is far too early to predict what the US and the rest of the world will witness with Trump’s presidency, it is frank to say that he is a different person, divorced from the establishment of the US. Consequently, it may be a beginning of a new era globally.
Given his acceptance speech embracing a positive stance in foreign relations and a unified America, his post-election statements and the comments of his advisors give some hints of what his administration will hold during his term. Therefore, I would like to analyze his election both with respect to of Turkey and the Middle East.
The similarities between the US post election protests and the Gezi Park protests
The 2013 Gezi park protests that took place in Istanbul started as peaceful, environmental-friendly protests but then turned out to be riots, which spread in many cities of Turkey. These were against democratic rights of Turkey and eventually intended to topple the democratically elected President. Similarly in the US, in at least 10 big states, anti-Trump protests started right after the elections. In a recent interview Trump told CBS that the protesters do not know him well and that there are some professionals among them who would like to stir up disorder. He was right because it turned out to be George Soros’ moveon.org was involved in the protests and they organized 200 civil disturbance so far throughout the country
. He said the protesters should not be afraid and that he would bring back American values back. Trump also added that if Clinton won and his supporters started protests, everyone would begin to condemn it and he called this approach a double standard.
When people go out in the streets, they would not know where to go first and they need someone to organize them and give instructions of what to do. This was how it happened at Gezi Park and the same is taking place in the States now. Additionally, similar disinformation
techniques applied in the traditional media and social media in Turkey are used concerning the American street protests. For example, they are using photos of Venezuelan riots and depicting them as taken in Los Angeles
. It is important for the protesters to act with reason and not be incited by provocateurs and put the welfare of the country above all else. I hope things will settle soon in the States without giving any harm to the society.
US-Russia relations and its effects on Turkey
The degraded US-Russia relations will very likely improve when Trump comes to office, as he is in favor of mending the broken bonds. The thoughts are mutual because we see pleasing remarks in the Russian media and also the Russian parliament burst into applause upon Trump’s election
. It is also expected for Trump to make his first official visit to Moscow. America’s having a common ground with Russia is very likely to be considered as an opportunity to put an end to the crisis in Syria and Iraq. Turkey and Russia have normalized their relations lately and started to sign very big energy and trade deals. They are now paving the way for being the strategic partners again at the soonest time. An end to the crisis in the region would also create an end to many of the side-effects such as support for PYD, which in turn puts pressure on Turkey. The US will likely not have to give support to the PYD as it is doing now, which will be a turning point in US-Turkey ties. What Turkey is alarmed about vis a vis the PKK is their ambition to build a North Korean-style government in the region for the past 40 years. They are now trying to achieve that goal by taking advantage of the civil war in Syria, operating under the name of the “PYD,” which hasn’t been designated a terrorist organization by the US. A communist Kurdish state, under the ostensible authority of the PKK and formed with the support of the US, will ultimately find a gateway to the entire Middle East, the Caucasus, Europe, and especially in Turkey, and will be a nightmare to the entire world.
The duty of Turkey in this new term
Today, the world is in need of a friendly America more than ever. The ties with America based solely on self-interests should be buried. The resources of the world are enough to keep both the East and the West prosperous. It is no doubt that Turkey is a very crucial ally for the States since it has a very strategic geopolitical position in the Middle East. With this new US administration coming to power, Turkey also has a lot to do to convince them to adopt the most appropriate policy to bring peace to the region. Accordingly, there should be heavy traffic for mutual visits both officially and at non-governmental levels to understand each other and to form a stronger bond. On the other hand, Trump has proven that he is hard-working in his business life and is now trying to revive the American dream to bring back the lost values of the loving American people. Turkey and Russia should support him and they will soon witness the positive outcome out of this alliance.
Adnan Oktar's piece in The Daily Star & Jefferson Corner: