Editorial by Yusuf Kanli
In punishing the US for a House panel marching over Turkey?s ?red line? regarding Armenian genocide charges, Turkey must try not to punish itself. Otherwise, anti-US measures cannot be sustainable.
Turkey's red lines are turning pink and even disappearing. The United States is totally ignoring all Turkish red lines, be they about northern Iraq, related to its war against terrorism or to the national pride of the country, like the Armenian genocide claims, or the Suleymaniyah hood incident.
Turks are fed up. Turks have started to question what kind of an allied relationship this country has with the United States that Washington is so ignorant of the sensitivities of Turkey. It's rather odd. When it comes to the U.S. Congress, the American administration is telling Ankara that despite its opposition to such developments it just cannot control the legislature adopting resolutions annoying Ankara, but when the Turkish Parliament adopts a decision, or rejects a government motion requested by Washington, the United States engages in a campaign of punishing Turkey.
It's difficult to believe that the U.S. administration has done enough to defeat the Armenian genocide bill at the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee. We do not believe the U.S. administration will take sufficient initiatives to prevent the bill being sent to the full House for a possible vote.
The members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the Armenian presidency, are now saying that the uproar by Turkey over the development need not be taken so seriously because after some yelling the Turks will sit back and everything will return to normalcy. Is that not what happened with France after that country adopted a similar resolution?
Of course such a perception developing about Turkey is a result of the great successes of the government in Ankara. ?Turks yell for a while, than forget everything and normalcy will be restored,? is a conviction that Ankara must defeat urgently.
That is why, irrespective of how legitimate the Turkish punitive actions against the hostile and humiliating House Foreign Affairs Committee action be ? and don't forget that it is highly possible that the bill will be submitted to the full House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the same understanding ? Turkey must make sure not to punish itself while trying to punish the United States.
Now, what do we have in the cards? Denying over flight permission to U.S. military planes. Giving up joint military maneuvers. Refusing over flight right to planes destined for Armenia. Like the United States does for Cuba, impose stringent economic-political-cultural embargo on Armenia. Declare an embargo on U.S. companies in defense industry tenders. Refuse the U.S. the right to use İncirlik Air Base for purposes other than directly related to NATO purposes. Refuse the U.S. use of Turkish territory for logistical support for its troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. This list perhaps could be extended with some more creative items.
However, which of these measures are in our interest and which will be hurting our interests more than they punish the United States must be calculated well if we want to sustain them otherwise, the perception that ?Turks react a bit, but then move on to double or triple economic relations as they did with France? will be further consolidated and we will have similar resolutions adopted by parliaments of many other ?allied? or ?friendly? countries.
Source: “Turkish Daily News”, 12 October 2007, Editorial