Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Obama, the Middle East and the EU

The address of U.S. President Barack Obama last week in the Egyptian capital Cairo conquered the hearts of Muslims. Following the former U.S. President George W. Bush’s obnoxious speech, Muslims found Obama’s speech very friendly.

As Obama mentioned Turkey and got into discussion with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy about Turkey’s accession to the European Union, he was almost called "Dear Hussein."

And we have begun to think that he would even convert to Islam.

But I have said since day one that Obama, as a Democrat, of course exerts efforts to bring a new style of approach to U.S. foreign policy. He wants to adopt an understanding of a multi-center rather than a single-center world. However, as all the previous U.S. presidents, Obama too took an oath to protect his country’s national interests.

The main difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama announced in advance that he would adopt a "consult first and then strike if necessary" approach rather than the opposite.


Obama’s withdrawing troops from Iraq and Iraq’s self-determination on its fate is not the same thing.

Handing over administration in Iraq to the Iraqis, more precisely, does not mean that Iraq will be able to sell its crude oil freely to any country they want.

And the United States’ seeking dialogue with Iran, as in the Israeli example, does not mean that the right to produce nuclear arms is Iran’s domestic issue.

To the more, Iran’s relations with Syria, Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas continue in the future as they are today, this will never be a free foreign policy choice of an independent country.

The best example for the "consult first and then strike" policy is Afghanistan and Pakistan. The United States searched dialogue channels with Taliban first in the Af-Pac region but as Taliban took over the control in the Pakistani Swat region, they did not say, "We cannot do anything.

This is Pakistan’s own issue."

I am not writing all these to criticize U.S. foreign policy or my purpose is not to blame Obama for hypocrisy.

For the biggest imperial state of the world, seeking sustainability in status quo around the world goes by nature. And Obama’s real mission is the protection of U.S. interests as long as the status quo works in favor of the United States and where there is U.S. interest.

Think about it for a second, what could’ve happened if the Magnificent Suleyman had said "I am the ruler of the seven worlds and I’ve decided to scale down the Ottoman state in order to have dialogue with other states."


In an international order based on voluntary give-and-takes, Obama’s love for Turkey is not just for Turkey’s submission to the U.S. but also for U.S. expectations of Turkey.

First of all, the membership of Turkey, as one of the most crowded countries in Europe and a U.S. ally, to the EU will be a key in the hands of the United States in the U.S.-Germany-France chest game.

On the other hand, as the United States pulls out from Iraq its closest friend to entrust northern Iraq is Turkey. If Turkey overcomes the outlawed-Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, issue, it would be the strongest guarantor state behind northern Iraq after the United States leaves Iraq. In fact, negotiations continue.


Obama is an excellent orator, and his team applies a perfect public relations strategy.

But I cannot help myself but to think, "Let’s see what they want" as my elder kisses me on the check.