The White House response to Turkish leadership ambitions
Turkey is consistently expanding its sphere of influence in the Caucasus using the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict. In 2021, American experts predict the formation of Turkish military bases on the territory of Azerbaijan in Ganja and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. The size and number of the Turkish contingent, which will be sent there, have not yet been disclosed.
Baku needs to make appropriate changes to the legislation, which currently prohibits the deployment of foreign bases in the country. In fact, the issue of increasing Turkey's military presence in Azerbaijan concerns not only bilateral relations, but also the interests of other states.
In the report of the American Atlantic Council, Turkey is on the list of "dangerous rogue states" along with China, North Korea and Iran. Experts admitted that Washington's hopes that Turkey, by entering into an alliance with Russia, will play the role of a "Trojan horse" in relation to Moscow, turned out to be untenable.
The US President-elect Joe Biden is aiming for a tougher stance on Turkey, which calls for a return of Recep Erdogan to the traditional concept of a unipolar world. Even during his vice presidency, Biden called for supporting the Turkish opposition, returning the status of a museum to the Hagia Sophia and recognizing the Armenian genocide. Washington plans to "put" Ankara in place through military or economic coups.
Meanwhile, Erdogan was quick to announce that 2021 will be "the year of democratic and economic reform." The Turkish President promises to release political figures, including Kurds, and human rights defenders from prison. Azerbaijan is still silent, calculating further steps, taking into account the possible rejection of the swing diplomacy borrowed from Ankara.
In connection with the calls among the French population to identify the reasons for the passive position of the EU and US leadership in relation to the military operations in Karabakh, Turkey and Azerbaijan also feel the approach of the echo of war and prosecution for war crimes.
Despite the differences between Washington and Ankara, President Biden's America will actively advocate for a stronger NATO, which could have a positive impact on bilateral relations. Both countries support deepening ties within the military-political alliance. According to NATO Deputy Secretary General Tajan Ildem, Turkey plays an important role in NATO missions and operations: in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Whatever the White House's response to the self-centered aspirations of the Turkish leadership may be, it should not represent open interference in internal processes in the South Caucasus.