How Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees diplomacy has highly effective implications for the U.S., in accordance with a former ambassador to the nation.
“He’s considering of an excellent previous, an unlucky current, and an excellent future,” W. Robert Pearson mentioned of Erdogan. “He thinks of Turkey as being morally superior however typically handled as a sufferer.”
Pearson, who spent three years as U.S. ambassador to Turkey, spoke at “Turkey’s Ambitions and the American Pursuits,” the 2021 kick-off occasion for the Rethinking Diplomacy Program, organized by the Duke College Heart for Worldwide and World Research (DUCIGS). The webinar was co-sponsored by Duke in DC and moderated by Michael Schoenfeld, vice chairman for Public Affairs & Authorities Relations at Duke College and hosted by Prof. Giovanni Zanalda, director of DUCIGS.
Pearson mentioned Erdogan desires to verify “that everybody understands that (Turkey) needs to be part of the sport, that it could spoil the sport if it desires to take action.”
Turkey’s delicate steadiness between an imperial previous and fashionable democratic ideas, between being a part of NATO and taking overt steps to maneuver towards Russia’s orbit— with Turkey’s buy of Russian S-400 missile system—pose challenges for U.S. diplomacy, Pearson mentioned.
The sanctions the U.S. has not too long ago imposed on Turkey over the S-400 buy needs to be left in place by the Biden administration, Pearson mentioned. However the U.S. additionally has a wider vary of diplomatic choices to exert strain on Turkey, together with the cultural influences typically referred to as smooth energy, plus its financial may, Pearson mentioned.
“The U.S. financial system and the European financial system collectively are practically 50 p.c of the world financial system,” he mentioned. “The Russian financial system is half the scale of California’s. So in financial phrases we’re the draw for many years to come back for the expansion of the Turkish financial system. We are able to use that for our profit.”
PEARSON ON TURKEY’S VIEW OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS
“Turkey sees a chance for itself in future years that performs off the affect of the COVID disaster. Mr. Erdogan has criticized what he calls ‘world governance.’ He says that the liberal democracies and the world order that existed till COVID broke out really produced the chaos that resulted. He factors out that the UN didn’t play an efficient position, that WHO didn’t play an efficient position, that the G20 didn’t play an efficient position and so his argument is that now it is time for center powers to play a simpler position regionally in what he calls a brand new rising globe order.”
ON THE AMERICAN APPROACH TO RELATIONS WITH TURKEY
“Our method, I like to recommend, could be considered one of persistence and chronic use of our strengths. Turkey isn’t a strategic enemy of america. Subsequently, since democracy and democratic parts are alive in Turkey, there’s a chance to maneuver ahead.”
“I feel there’s an infinite scope for exchanges with Turkey that had not been absolutely taken benefit of within the performing arts, within the visible arts, and within the exchanges of specialists on social issues that aren’t political. Once I labored in worldwide improvement, we’d take NGO specialists from a given nation and convey them to a metropolis of the U.S. with the identical drawback, to get a cross-cultural change. … If you happen to’re coping with medical points or in the event you’re coping with different points which might be socially vital however not politically delicate, I feel there’s a big scope of issues that may be executed there. I personally wish to see extra emphasis publicly be given to that type of change as a result of it might assist the general tone of the connection.”
ON THE POTENTIAL FOR TURKEY TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION
“With respect to the European Union, I might say, fairly actually that membership within the European Union is a useless letter for now and for the foreseeable future. Each events preserve open the concept it could possibly be potential however primarily, in the previous couple of years, they’ve made no progress by any means and I do not see any prospect for them persevering with to take action.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF NATO FOR TURKEY
“NATO is essential for Turkey as a status image. It’s the solely European-wide group by which the Turks have an equal seat and equal authority. Whereas they’ve acted opposite to NATO ideas so far as the Individuals and others are involved, they imagine that their membership in NATO is essential, and I do not see any chance that they’d voluntarily depart that alliance. The U.S. can attempt to use that relationship to develop areas of potential progress on safety points. “
ON TURKEY’S UPCOMING NEGOTIATIONS WITH GREECE
“This can be a clear transfer by Turkey to deflect criticism of it and its position within the jap Mediterranean and to offer the illusion of getting a willingness to deal with a few of these points. We’ll need to see what occurs. It is definitely higher than not speaking, and it’s a signal of Turkey’s adjustment to the modifications within the U.S. administration and within the Center East.”
ON THE ELEMENTS OF RETHINKING DIPLOMACY
“Rethinking diplomacy has three main parts. First, it has to contain all of the stakeholders- cultural, financial, political and army. Secondly, you begin with the simplest points, the shared points. If you happen to do a Venn diagram, you place these points in that frequent house and also you begin there. Thirdly, and really importantly, everybody concerned in that course of needs to be dedicated to an answer.”
ON THE POTENTIAL FOR THE U.S. AND TURKEY TO WORK AGAINST RUSSIA
“Russia can be an issue for Turkey in addition to for america. I feel there will be alternatives for us to work with the Turks to take care of issues that the Russians trigger within the Center East. I do not imply we can be companions, however I imagine that the identical issues could have an effect on them that have an effect on us, and we must always use that chance to work with them.”
ON TURKEY’S EXPANDING DEFENSE PROGRAM
“(Erdogan) desires to wean Turkey off its dependence on US, German, and Israeli applied sciences and that’s considered one of his main targets in increasing Turkey’s protection functionality. Turkey has an formidable protection and safety plan for the Center East that elevate a variety of points for regional states and for Europe and america.”