ANKARA: Baran: US Intends To Change Status Quo in Turkey’s Region

Anadolu Agency, Turkey
Jan 29 2005

Nixon Center Expert Baran: The U.S. Intends To Change The Status Quo
In Turkey’s Region
Anadolu Agency: 1/29/2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AA) – The International Security & Energy Program
Director of the Nixon Center Zeyno Baran has stated that the United
States intends to change the status quo in Turkey’s region. ”Hence,
Turkey would have to pursue a more active policy,” affirmed Baran.
Participating in a panel discussion, sponsored by the
American-Turkish Council (ATC) and Atlantic Council in Washington,
D.C., Baran referred to U.S. President’s inaugural address, where he
mentioned the importance of the spread of democracy globally, and
remarked that in such a scenario Turkey must make clear where it
stands. ”Turkey’s stance will have an impact on the strategic
partnership between Turkey and the U.S..” she said.
Baran pointed out that understanding the reasons behind the Iraq
War is crucial. ”The United States believes that the status quo in
the region created a fertile ground for the September 11 attack. The
US’s intention is clear and they want to change the structure of the
region (Middle East),” remarked Baran. -TURKEY & RUSSIA DON’T WANT
Baran added that the recent close relations between Turkey and
Russia indicate that the cooperation between the two countries stand
to preserve the status quo in the region. ”Both Turkey and Russia
are worried about changes in the region. They want to preserve the
status quo,” expressed Baran.
According to Baran, being a NATO member, Turkey’s relations with
Russia are a matter of concern for security experts. Baran said that
the Turkish deputies’ qualification of events in Iraq as ”genocide”
will result in a ”tough” resolution on the so-called Armenian
genocide in the U.S. congress.
Meanwhile, the American-Turkish Council (ATC) Defense & Security
Relations Committee Chairman Preston Hughes indicated that the U.S.
strongly supports Turkey’s bid to join the EU. ”It is important for
Turkey to understand that it will come under pressure by the EU. We
must not abandon our beliefs that relations between Turkey and the
USA are in the interest of both countries,” told Hughes.
Hughes elaborated that time to time disappointments may occur on
both sides. ”For example, the Turks have been disappointed with the
lack of U.S. assistance to wipe away the terrorist organization PKK
in northern Iraq. Similarly, the U.S. was disappointed with Turkey’s
decision not to help Americans open a northern front in Iraq. Despite
such disappointments, the two countries must not forget that they
share common values on democracy. We must not burn the bridges that
so closely bring us together,” stressed Hughes.