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Nov 15 2018

'U.S. officials must accept these facts'

One of the most influential voices on Turkey-US relations, Steven A. Cook, joined Ahval's editor-in-chief Yavuz Baydar and İlhan Tanir to discuss his latest report, published by the Council for Foreign Relations, where Cook is a senior fellow.

Cook's report titled "Neither Friend nor Foe" includes thought-provoking recommendations for U.S. policy-makers alongside the observation that the traditional alliance linking the U.S. and Turkey for decades has had to end with the Cold War. Cook says U.S. officials must accept these facts and behave accordingly.

In his own words, the theme Cook wishes to emphasize in the report is that "there has been so much structural change in international politics since the Cold War ended, the common threat of the Soviets no longer bound Turkey and US together."

According to Cook, the end of the Cold War also revealed the “different interests, divergent values" of these two nations. Turkey simply pursues its own interests, and American officials should recognize this. The United States, in turn, should not be shy to oppose when Turkey goes against the U.S. interests.

Responding to the frequent speculation that Turkey is drifting away from the West to become part of an Eastern axis, Cook argues that Turkey wants to be Turkey, pursuing its own interests, which do not necessarily attach to any axis.