Turkish elections results opportunity for US-Turkey relations

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thrashed his rivals in the first round of balloting on June 24th elections to become the first elected as the chief executive of the new presidential system.

While Erdoğan has garnered more than 26.3 million of the total 56.3 million votes, which is 11 million votes more than his closest opponent and 3 million more than all the other candidates, he also surpassed his performance in the last presidential elections. In 2014, Erdoğan got 51.8 percent of the votes, or 21 million. Accordingly, he increased his votes by 5.3 million, or 0.8 percent, in four years.

Ahead of this election, Western officials refrained from making statements about Turkish politics, possibly assuming that their remarks would help the Erdoğan campaign. In this regard, it was a tactical move. Their decision to allow Erdoğan and his party to make campaign stops within their borders, likewise, was an attempt to de-escalate tensions. After all, the Western media remained unmistakably anti-Erdoğan.

What happens now? The Westerners will have to accept the facts and Turkey will have won in the end.

At a time of economic instability and strained relations with the West, the outcome could also shape U.S.-Turkish relations for years to come.

In fact, following the elections, President Erdoğan received congratulations from all the world leaders.

No doubt that Erdoğan’s victory clearly showed some of Turkey’s allies that, if they want to have a good relations with Turkey, they need to talk to President Erdoğan, instead of trying to target him.

While, Trump, May, Putin etc have rushed to congrulate President Erdoğan, what took my attention was, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comment.

At a time of economic instability and strained relations with the West, the outcome could also shape U.S.-Turkish relations for years to come.

For the United States, Turkey’s election is an opportunity to restore bilateral relations. Pompeo said, elections in Turkey is over and now Ankara and Washington can begin a “more productive conversation”. Pompeo’s remarks tell us that the U.S. have waited to see the result of this election in order to negotiate with President Erdoğan. This negotiations definetely includes PKK/YPG, FETO and F-35 issues.

Washington has been backing terrorist PKK’s Syria unit YPG, which no surprise enraging Turkey. More recently, the U.S. Congress raised objections to Turkey’s purchase of F-35 fighter jets after Ankara said it was buying the Russian S-400 missile air defense system.

Turkey is also furious Washington has not extradited Fetullah Gulen, who orchestrated the failed coup attempt in July 15, 2016.

It is clear that while the U.S. Congress harshly criticize Turkey, they are also afraid of Turkey’s close ties with Russia. President Trump administration not very happy about Turkey-Russia relationship, as Mitchell Wess from State Deparment pointed this.

Thus, it’s a good opportunity for President Trump and his administration to renew Washington’s relation with Ankara before rival powers join the game.

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