United States VS Turkey
The United States is facing many threats from state actors across the globe. Now, added to the list might be a NATO ally Turkey. On August 1, 2018, the United States put sanctions on the Turkish government because they have failed to release a US citizen to American custody. The sanctions will affect the interior and justice ministers. The US Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson is under house arrest and is being charged with terrorism and espionage. However, the Turkish government has failed to provide evidence the pastor has conducted these acts. The sanctions against Turkey should work because in the past Vladimir Putin (President of Russia) enacted sanctions against Turkey, however, sanctions open the door for Turkey support with Russia, and the Trump Administration is making the right decision to pass sanctions against Turkey.
The decree passed by the Russian government on January 1, 2016, had a significant effect on Turkey. There are about four million Russian citizens that travel to Turkey every. The ban on Russian citizens traveling to Turkey hurt the 96 billion dollar industry along with 2.1 million jobs in the travel industry. As a result, the Turkish government eventually worked with Vladimir Putin to figure out a solution. The same could go for the United States. Turkey appears to be strong in the being, but will submit when it is pressure according to the history of their past behavior. This might allow president Trump to negotiate the pastor release from house arrest. Maybe more sanctions are needed to receive this result. On the other hand, pushing Turkey too hard could lead to Turkey helping Russia.
The Russian government needs Turkey to ensure ships can pass through to the Sea of Marmara and Dardanelles so that Russian ships can go to the Aegean Sea. This allows Russia to send supplies to Syria. If Turkey starts to move towards more support from Russia, then it can benefit Russia greatly by securing their supply line. However, If Turkey does decide to want more Russian help, then Turkey might get kicked out of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which can hurt the economy of Turkey and military support by NATO. The point of the sanctions against Turkey is America is willing to defend one US citizen.
The Trump Administration is making the right decision to fight and defend one US citizen from an arbitrary arrest by a foreign government. The US pastor is being used as a political hostage, so Turkey can get Fethullah Gulen who they believe devise the coup against the Turkish government. However, the United States has not expedited the cleric because the American government has found no evidence that he was behind the coup. It is possible that the Turkish government is holding the US pastor for a trade for the cleric. On the other hand, the Turkish government will most likely never imprison him.
In the end, Turkey has submitted to sanctions in the past before by Russian sanctions. America should see the same results. If the pressure of sanctions continues, then Turkey will want to find a solution to end the sanctions. On the other hand, the sanctions might benefit Turkey Russian relations.The decision by president Trump to put sanctions on Turkey is important to make a statement around the globe that the United States will not submit to governments imprisoning their citizens.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.