Turkey connoisseur: Biden’s talks were crucial

Charlie Taylor

The fact that US President Biden contacted Turkish President Erdogan may have been decisive for him to release his veto on Sweden’s NATO application. Turkey expert Jenny White believes so.Updated: 29 June 2022, 16:06Published: 29 June 2022, 15:59After a long process It was clear on Tuesday night that Turkey, Sweden and Finland have reached an agreement that will allow the application process for NATO membership to continue. But it was not just the agreement that caused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to veto right now, according to Jenny White, professor emerita at the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University. ”It was important, but the fact that Erdogan received a call from US President Joe Biden a few days ago was probably crucial. “That he can show that he has a dialogue and a personal contact with the American president is extremely important”, she tells TT. and Trump. But current President Biden has not been in contact with him so far. “There are presidential elections in Turkey soon and Erdogan has lost support. That he can take on the role of a strong leader with international relations is extremely important to him and a personal relationship with the President of the United States is important. According to her, it is more important that Biden opened up to meet Erdogan in the future than the actual content of the conversation. Magnus Christiansson, senior lecturer and NATO researcher at the Swedish National Defense College, also highlights the dialogue with Joe Biden as “It may have been a greater success for Turkey to have been promised a summit with Biden and any talks on fighter jets than the agreement itself,” he said. She believes that the agreement formulated by Turkey, Sweden and Finland is just right, vague. It is clear, among other things, that Sweden will not support the Kurdish movements YPG and PYD or the Gülen movement. It could be interpreted as Sweden considering them as terrorist organizations, but it does not say so explicitly. ”I do not interpret it as meaning that Sweden needs to abandon some of its values ​​or attitudes. It should not affect the humanitarian support that Sida provides to people living in regions where the YPG and PYD are located. ”“ For Turkey, the most important thing is that the agreement recognizes the security threats they experience with the PKK, YPG and PYD. That the country is named with the new writing Türkiye is an important signal “, says Jenny White.That Turkey let on The veto right now, she believes, is due to Erdogan getting as much as he can out of the process before the irritation from the outside world becomes too great. ”Blocking Sweden’s NATO application, for example, has not led Russia to give the go-ahead for Turkey to enter Syria. It’s a good time for him to take a step back, ”says Jenny White. Magnus Christiansson reacts to the point in the agreement that the countries will establish a common police and intelligence mechanism. ”It could be a way for Turkey to get a better picture of the Kurdish diaspora in Sweden. But the question is what it means in practice that Sweden and Turkey share intelligence information, it remains to be seen. “He points out that the two countries have a different view of what is Kurdish terrorism and that Sweden shares that type of information with an authoritarian state. can be problematic.TT

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