(Newswire.net — August 12, 2018) — Turkey and the US are in jeopardy, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, warning the White House he would turn to “new allies” if the United States continues to show a “lack of respect” for his country.
Since the assassination of the US pastor Andrew Branson in Turkey and the introduction of sanctions the relations between the two NATO allies have fallen to their lowest levels in the last few decades.
Namely, within the tightening of economic measures, US President Donald Tramp decided to double customs duties on Turkish steel and aluminum, speeding up the fall of the Turkish currency, which lost 16 percent on the dollar on Friday.
Erdogan warned Washington of the consequences of these measures that could force Ankara to find “new friends and new allies,” the New York Times reports.
“If the United States does not begin to respect the sovereignty of Turkey and prove that it understands the dangers our nation faces, our partnership could be at risk.”
Ties between Turkey and the US started breaking down after a coup attempt in July 15, 2016, allegedly staged by Pastor Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in the US under protection of the government as a US citizen.
Another source of frustration relates to the partnership between the United States and the Syrian branch of the P.K.K., a terrorist organization that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Turkish citizens since 1984. Turkish authorities said that Washington used 5,000 trucks and 2,000 cargo planes to deliver weapons to the P.Y.D./Y.P.G in recent years, which Ankara sees as the direct undermining of its government.
A direct blow to the Turkish economy was continuation of hostilities between once strong allies that may lead to breaking up the alliance. The Turkish Defense Ministry announced earlier that Turkey would ditch the US Patriot ground to air missiles in favor to Russian S-400 defense system, which pretty much hints on who this ‘new ally’ might be. Also, Turkey halted purchase of overpriced F-35 fighter jets and is considering ‘other solutions.’
Communication and other exchanges shifted to a harsher tone in January, when Turkey launched ‘Operation Olive Branch’ against Kurdish fighters in Afrin.