Thursday, October 11, 2012

Obama turns his back on Erdogan and his policy


“As the crisis in Syria has deepened, the White House has appeared willing to wait for the demise of Syrian President Bashar Assad. For Ankara, the crisis has become an emergency. As turmoil in Syria has grown over the past 18 months, Ankara has presumed that the United States and Turkey were on the same page regarding regime change. Now, though, differences are emerging. The Obama administration is hesitant toward Syria for several reasons, including reticence to act before the November elections and war-weariness among Americans. Erdogan appears to view such concerns as cover for general indifference to Turkey’s Syria problem. A sign of such sentiment emerged Sept 5, when Erdogan chided Obama on CNN for lacking initiative on Syria — a rare rebuke from an otherwise steadfast friend. This statement could be a harbinger. Erdogan has a penchant for treating foreign leaders as friends — and losing his temper when he thinks his friends have not stood by him. The more Washington looks the other way on Syria, the more upset Erdogan is likely to get over what he sees as Obama’s unwillingness to support his policy.

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