In this tense moment, confrontational narratives between the United States and China have drowned out the competitive and cooperative components of the relationship, increasing the risks, escalating frictions and undermining global cooperation.
Europe seems to be waking up from a strategic nap it has been having since 1989. The pandemic interrupted supply chains and made the continent more aware of its dependence on Asian manufacturing, and just-in-time logistics. Then the barbaric aggression against Ukraine exposed its addiction to Russian energy resources, previously brought up only by a handful of Central European countries. Yanked by these abrupt changes, Europe is finally drafting a strategy in pursuit of real autonomy rather than just empty promises.
Shared visions make for strong allies. The US and EU interests in each other’s energy security run deep for a reason. Energy security and interconnectivity breed economic opportunity and stability as well as political security, all of which are of the highest priority on both sides of the Atlantic.
Defining the nature of Turkish-US relations has become a challenge in itself. Although institutionalised and historical, these relations are suffering from an accumulated series of crises, an outdated framework, and diverging threat perceptions. A glimpse into the files on both countries’ agendas in recent years clearly confirms the nature of their relations.
US-Turkish relations have always been difficult to manage. But even in the context of a relationship prone to stresses and strains, the last few years have been extraordinarily difficult. Some of these frictions are structural, and some are the product of political dynamics in both countries alongside regional developments. The frictions may be managed. They will not easily be resolved. A relationship that both have reason to regard as “strategic” will continue to face tough tests.