Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's meeting with US President Barack Obama was important. Uncomfortable with the agreement crafted in Tehran by Turkey and Brazil, the US administration was disappointed again by Turkey's negative vote in the UN Security Council to the sanctions on Iran.
Turkey was also disappointed by the US when they acted like the protectorate of the pirate state, Israel, in the Mavi Marmara incident. Thus the Toronto summit turned into a mission for the repair of mutual disappointments.
First a finding: The range of mutual interest between Turkey and the US is quite wide. The cooperation of these two countries on topics that occupy the global agenda is uncommon in the world.
The CIA puts a report on the US president's desk every morning with updates on the world's problematic regions. The subjects covered in the reports that are presented to the US president and the Turkish prime minister and president are almost the same. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel and so on. Do you think the Canadian prime minister ponders the future of Iraq as much as the Turkish prime minister? How much do you think Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi concerns himself with Iran's production of nuclear weapons or the crippling sanctions to be applied on that country?
It is clear that Turkey cannot control the processes by ignoring or challenging the US. However, the US is in a position to work with a country like Turkey in the post-Cold War world and respond to Turkey's expectations and sensitivities.
Several foreign politics commentators cannot stop looking towards regional and global relationships within the parameters of the Cold War. They perceive the US as the victor of the Cold War and the only power to bring order to the world -- a totally lacking and incorrect analysis.
Obama must stop looking at the incidents from Israeli lenses
The Obama administration cannot build the new world order alone. It must be understood that the UN's Permanent Five cannot control the global order just like the limited organization of the G-8 cannot control the global finance order.
Re-ordering the global order will surely take time. However, the American administration must stop thinking with the old patterns to be able to construct the new order.
It can start by stopping to see the incidents from Israeli lenses. More precisely, it must start over in order to have credibility.
Let us hope that the first step will be taken with the meeting of Obama and Netanyahu.
This meeting will be more decisive for the Turkish-American relationship than the Obama-Erdoğan meeting in Toronto.
The aftermath of the Mavi Marmara raid was seen by all the world. Obama, who was elected with a new set of promises, emerged from this crisis with heavy injuries. The international public saw that the new American administration puts up with even the most unfair actions of Israel.
Following Obama's Cairo speech, the world hoped that the American administration would begin taking determined steps for peace in the Middle East and Israel would be more reasonable; however the Obama administration has caused disappointment.
The Obama-Netanyahu meeting can be a first step to repair all these disappointments. And it should be.
03 July 2010, Saturday