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Ahval Covers JINSA’s Latest Eastern Med Report on Turkey

Biden Administration Should Gauge Erdoğan’s Sincerity Before Engaging

The government of U.S. President Joe Biden must judge the sincerity and motivation behind Erdoğan’s recent entreaties before deciding how to proceed, Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) said in its Eastern Mediterranean Policy Project report on Tuesday.

JINSA said Turkey’s so-called precious loneliness had led the country to adopt a hostile approach to American and European interests in the broader region.

“As recently as October 2020, Turkey was engaged in multiple conflicts ranging from North Africa, across the Middle East, and north into the Caucasus,” the institute said.

Turkey’s current aggression in foreign policy focused on rights to natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, it said, adding:

“This is a dramatic contrast to the situation twenty years ago, when Turkey was the chief regional ally of both the United States and Israel and was seeking membership in the European Union.”

JINSA put forward several policy recommendations for the Biden administration.

The institute said the Biden administration should limit presidential contacts with Turkey, “at least until such a time as Turkish policy begins to change”, and not abet “Turkey’s continued belief that it is an indispensable partner for the United States”.

The White House must judge the sincerity and motivation behind Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent entreaties before deciding how to proceed, it said.

In the report, JINSA said Erdoğan’s pursuit of a reset with the United States and other Western countries was insincere, driven more by political pressures at home than a foreign policy about-face.

The United States’ strategy toward Turkey should avoid conducting the diplomatic relationship via personal calls, JINSA said, referring to the friendship between Erdoğan and Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, and offer Turkey a clear statement of Washington’s expectations for Turkish policy.

“This strategy should also be coordinated by recruiting European and Mediterranean partners to develop a joint approach to Erdoğan,” JINSA said.

Originally published in Ahval News