Kerry Better for Turkey ‘2-1’

Kerry Better for Turkey

10.31.2004 Sunday

Although the views of the two candidates in the US preidential
elections are similar, there are critical differences on three
important issues for Turkey. Bush’s policies on Iraq and the European
Union (EU) and Kerry’s Armenian policy would be disadvantageous for

EU: Both Bush and Kerry give full support to Turkey’s membership to
EU. However, the support of the Kerry administration would be more
beneficial for Turkey as Bush has lost the support of most European
countries after the Iraqi war. Pressure from the Bush administration
on the EU would likely result in a negative outcome.

Iraq: Bush supports ‘general autonomy’ for the Kurds within a federal
structure in Iraq; also he does not actively push for the elimination
of the terrorist organization PKK. Kerry’s policy is not known;
however, it is noted that Kerry will not be as flexible as Bush about
the autonomy issue since he aims to have large international support
for Iraq. It is also indicated that the Kurds are concerned because of
the situation.

The Alleged Armenian Genocide: Kerry’s much publicized statement that
he would recognize the so-called Armenian genocide is confusing. It is
expected that Kerry would not risk losing a key NATO ally like Turkey,
over such claims.