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US Envoy Affirms Turkey’s Western Alignment Despite Differences Over Gaza

US Envoy Affirms Turkey's Western Alignment Despite Differences Over Gaza

Turkey remains steadfastly aligned with the West, emphasizing the strength of its partnership with the United States despite differences over Israel’s actions in Gaza. Flake, who is set to depart his position this autumn, highlighted Turkey’s recent moves towards the West, such as its support for NATO enlargement and the agreement to purchase U.S. F-16s, as evidence of Ankara’s Western orientation. He expressed optimism about the future of trade and investment between the two countries, stating that their strategic partnership has never been stronger.

Flake, a former Republican senator appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden, began his tenure in early 2022, coinciding with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Throughout his time in Turkey, he has overseen discussions regarding Ankara’s adherence to U.S. sanctions on Moscow and its stance on NATO enlargement. Despite Turkey’s significant economic ties with Russia, Flake praised Ankara’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty during the conflict, citing actions such as blocking Russian warships from entering the Black Sea and providing drones to Kyiv.

Flake also noted a positive shift in bipartisan sentiment towards Turkey in the U.S. Congress this year, asserting that this trend would continue regardless of the outcome of the U.S. election in November.


During his tenure in Turkey spanning 2-1/2 years, Flake worked to leverage his connections within the U.S. Congress to address concerns regarding Turkey’s allegiance to the West and President Erdogan’s human rights record. The recent sale of F-16 jets and modernization kits to Turkey, coinciding with the country’s endorsement of Sweden’s NATO bid, signifies an increasing level of trust between the two nations, according to Flake. This development has facilitated greater cooperation in areas such as manufacturing and direct investments.

Flake’s remarks come amidst Ankara’s recent indication of potential interest in joining the BRICS group, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, among others. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Russia and attendance at a BRICS meeting signal a positive trajectory in Turkish-Russian relations, with Fidan reportedly emphasizing the strong state of ties between the two nations.

Despite these developments, Flake expressed his hope that Turkey would refrain from joining BRICS. However, he asserted that such a move would not alter Turkey’s alignment with the West. He noted the economic challenges facing Russia, particularly due to the sanctions imposed by Western nations, and highlighted ongoing efforts by Washington to assist Ankara in diversifying its energy sources, thereby reducing its reliance on Russia.

US Envoy Affirms Turkey’s Western Alignment Despite Differences Over Gaza

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