West Is in Danger of Losing Turkey, US Warns

The United States is warning Turkey against taking any additional steps to operationalize its Russian-made S-400 air defense system, warning there will be consequences even if that risks pushing Ankara closer to an alliance with Moscow.Relations between Washington and Ankara, which have soured in recent years, hit a new low last week when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed his military had FILE – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks in a televised address in Ankara, Sept. 21, 2020.Erdogan, however, has brushed aside the warnings, telling reporters last week that the U.S. stance “absolutely does not concern us.”Despite the apparent impasse, the U.S. has not given up on finding a way to bring Ankara back into the fold.Cooper, recently back from a visit to Greece and Bulgaria, said the U.S. has encouraged both countries, as well as other NATO allies, to do what they can to “make sure that Turkey remains in the West.”’Significant roles’ for Turkey”It’s to the alliance’s detriment to not have Turkey inside the alliance,” Cooper said. “There are significant roles that they still maintain with us … in the greater security of Europe and in the region.”Whether such efforts can overcome what U.S. officials like Cooper describe as “disruptive actions coming from Moscow to cleave us apart” remains to be seen.If they fail, U.S. officials caution that Ankara, like the U.S. and NATO, could suffer.”The only beneficiary of Turkey leaving the West or being cleaved away from Europe would be Moscow,” Cooper said. “There would be a diminishing return, even for Turkey.”

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