Current Events and U.S. Diplomacy between Turkey and the U.S
The President’s doctrine was established in 1947 by Harry Truman the then U.S president. The president used the doctrine to ask the Congress to grant military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece (Bostdorff, 2008). Turkey had always tried to maintain a modern secular status through the Second World War. Turkish government remained relatively neutral in the war and did not take side either with the Axis or the Allies. This, in turn, led to the constant deliberate persuasion from both sides for Turkey to join their movement. Turkey adamantly remained neutral through the war till towards the end. The conflict between Turkey and the Soviet Union in relation to Dardanelle Straits influenced Turkey’s decision to side with the Allies. Moreover, the announcement at the Yatta conference stating that only states that were against Germany and Japan at war would be accepted to the UN further influenced Turkey’s decision (Terrill, 2007). In addition, Roosevelt and Churchill believed that Turkey’s neutrality was intended to block Axis from accessing the oil reserves in the Middle East.
The communist movement by the European countries which was considered by other nations such as the US and Britain to be a form of dictatorship required Soviet neighboring countries to convert to communism. The communism movement also meant that all nations that converted would have to follow Stalin; the leader of the Soviet Union (USSR) policies and leadership (Jones, 1999). This instantly provoked major rival nations such as the US and influenced them to act. Truman considered the communist movement a threat to free societies, international security and global peace. The American government despite being allies with the Soviet Union at some point during the war became adversaries with the beginning of the Cold war.
The Cold War is considered to have been initiated by the Truman Doctrine. US made a clear declaration of its interest to protect free societies from the Soviet’s Union communism movement. This decision certainly yielded tension and rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union nations. The communism movement had spread to major nations such as a Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary and was headed next for Turkey and Greece (Terrill, 2007). Present developments at the time involving British inability to sustain their military support in Greece worsened the problem for the US government. In addition, Turkey, in particular, was faced with economic challenges and pressure from the Soviet to share power over Dardanelle Straits. These factors significantly influenced Truman’s decision to protect Turkey and Greece from the communist influence. The US government invested approximately 400 million dollars for protection purposes.
The relationship between U.S and Turkey before the cold war was cordial and the two nations were allies since the 18th Century though Turkey did not take sides during the Second World War (Terrill, 2007). However, their friendship grew and became stronger after the Truman Doctrine by the U.S president. Turkey depended on the US government for protection from the Soviet Union powers. On the other hand, the US government also protected its interest by protecting Turkey. The main interest was to prevent the Soviet Union from taking control over a high percentage of nations and also accessing the oil reserves in the Middle East. Turkish government maintained its connection and close associations with the US government (Jones, 1999). Moreover, Turkey supported the US in its operations such as in the no-fly zone policy over Northern Iraq (Spalding, 2006). In addition, a consensus was arrived at among the political elite in Turkey which was based on the agreement that Turkey’s security was dependent on their close relation with the US government. The purpose of the Truman doctrine was achieved and its influence extended for many years though the bond between the two nations is currently strained.
Until recently Turkey’s government relationship with U.S government has always been solid. Differing interests between the two countries in relation to Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, Central Asia and the Persian Gulf have led to conflict and divergence (Bostdorff, 2008). In addition, U.S diplomatic contingent corruption allegations on Turkish government have negatively affected the relations between the two nations. U.S vast trade and investment in the Middle East has been facilitated by the country’s good relations with Turkey. Current occurrences over the past several years have, however, triggered tension and a state of uncertainty between Turkey and U.S. Moreover, the two countries differ over support for Egypt’s leadership. Turkey supports the previous Egypt leader Morsi Mohammed whereas the U.S is in favor of the current military leaders (Bostdorff, 2008). Another factor influencing distrust is the sanction U.S government imposed to curb subsidies to Turkey. This act was a reaction to Turkey’s involvement with a Chinese missile-defense system obtained from a company previously sanctioned by the U.S government. The looming rivalry between the two countries poses major risks for international peace and security. If truth be told the rivalry poses a risk for cold war though featuring different participants.
Bostdorff, D. M. (2008). Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine: The Cold War call to arms. College Station: Texas A & M University Press.
Jones, H. (1999). A New Kind of War: America’s Global Strategy and the Truman Doctrine in Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.
Spalding, E. E. (2006). The first cold warrior: Harry Truman, containment, and the remaking of liberal internationalism. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
Terrill, W. A., Army War College (U.S.)., & Atlantic Council of the United States. (2007). The evolution of U.S.-Turkish relations in a transatlantic context. Carlisle Barracks, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.
Uslu, N. (2003). The Turkish-American relationship between 1947 and 2003: The history of a distinctive alliance. New York: Nova Science.
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