Ankara Is Pleased That Trump Has Not Left Sanctions Up to Biden

After it passed in the House of Representatives, the Senate approved a bill by a majority vote calling for the imposition of sanctions on Turkey as punishment for purchasing Russian S-400 missiles. The U.S. president now has 30 days to determine which sanctions will be imposed on Turkey.

Had he wished, Donald Trump could have left the ball in Joe Biden’s court. However, due to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s efforts, whose own dealings with Turkey have turned sour, Trump signed a package of measures. In the days ahead, Trump must choose at least five of 12 options in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

So, how does Ankara evaluate this situation? Does it think that Trump, who has prioritized personal dialogue with Erdogan throughout his presidency, is fleecing Turkey at the last minute?

On a flight back from Azerbaijan, we asked President Erdogan’s close advisers how they felt about this issue.

The response we got was a bit shocking because the advisers seemed pleased that Trump will decide what kind of sanctions to slap on Turkey instead of leaving it up to Biden.

There are two obvious reasons for this.

Erdogan’s team hopes that Trump will choose the least punitive of the 12 CAATSA options.

Furthermore, they want to start the Biden era off with a clean slate and not labor under the strain of sanctions.

If you pay attention, Erdogan is also making moderate statements about Biden.

Erdogan is keeping dialogue open when he says, “Biden visited me once at home during an illness. I have not responded to his statement supporting my political opposition. We will be patient, and see what the future of our relations will be.”

Let’s see if Trump will meet Ankara’s expectations by choosing the least punitive sanctions, or if Trump will remain under the influence of Pompeo, who made a series of harsh statements and blatantly skipped Ankara on his last visit to Turkey. My guess is that Trump will fall somewhere in between.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply