Ilnur Cevik

New Anatolian
Jan 8 2008

Turkey needs the U.S. and the U.S. needs Turkey. This will be the
case as long as geographically and strategically Turkey is where it
is and the U.S. is the world power. We should not over play areas
of discord while we should not go wild in rejoicing the current
positive atmosphere.

With President Abdullah Gul about to meet George W. Bush at the White
House there is a jubilant atmosphere that the relations between the
two countries which was about to collapse has suddenly been revived
and are now at a new peak.

Even foreign newspapers are talking about a situation where Turkey and
the United States were about to confront each other militarily and
that today we have arrived at a new junction where American support
against the PKK in northern Iraq has suddenly worked a miracle.

Some people feel we have come from one negative extreme to a very
positive new extreme.

All this is misleading and does not represent the true picture.

Turkey and the United States are natural allies and will remain so
as long as Turkey geographically and strategically remains where it
is today and the U.S. is the world power and the leading democracy.

There will be ups and downs but things will always sort out and
the two countries will at times compliment each other and at times
supplement each other according to the need.

But this also does not mean that we should promote the negative
aspects. We need to address the issues in a realistic manner so that
we have more ups than downs.

So we should not be overwhelmed with the current state of
Turkish-American relations claiming that we are now on top of the
world. That is really misleading.

The United States never gave up on Turkey and never will. The fact
that the Armenian genocide resolution was shelved and eventually Bush
helped Turkey against the PKK is proof to all this.

But it is wrong to think the Americans have turned their backs on
the Kurds of Iraq or that the Armenian resolution will not be revived.

The Americans will try to appease Turkey as much as possible but
there will come a point where they also have to pay some lip service
to the Iraqi Kurds without creating too much trouble for Turkey.

Besides this the strength of the Armenian lobby especially in an
elections year also has to be acknowledged. We should see all these
possible developments in the horizon and should act with understanding.

President Gul's visit seems to be a "thank you" call on President
Bush for the massive helped he has extended to Turkey despite some
misgivings especially among the pro-Kurdish lobby in Washington. This
will also be an opportunity where Gul can make amends for the failure
of his government to pass a resolution to allow Americans to use
Turkish soil to invade Iraq.

This shows deep in the hearts of many in Washington there is a deep
respect for Turkey. There is also a vast awareness of the importance
of our country.

We should formulate our future relations on these realities and not
on sources of discord.