Mr. Osman Faruk Loğoğlu appeared in a brief interview with Mehr News International Service about the possible consequences of election to US presidency of Donald Trump. Mr. Obama’s legacy of an intensely failed Middle East poses difficult situation for anyone sitting in the Oval Office; however, Mr. Loğoğlu believes that Trump, although sees Kurds in a positive light, will need to find a way to bring Turkey and Kurds to sit upon a level ground, a task would be challenging and formidable given the fact that Turkey has seen Kurds outright terrorists and threat to its territorial integrity after initial constructive work with Kurds commissioned by the government. On NATO, he believes it would be actually bolstered by the demand that they raise their share of support in budget for NATO.
In his presidential campaign, Donald Trump opposed US expenditures on security regimes like NATO. Will this lead to weakening of NATO?
US position on NATO that the allies are not spending enough on defense and that US shoulders disproportionate part of the burden is a bipartisan (both Democratic and Republican) American stand. It is a fact that most European members of NATO have reduced their defense budgets in recent years due to economic problems. Trump is unlikely to pull the US out of NATO, but will surely apply sustained pressure on NATO members to spend more for the alliance defense. If realized, this should make NATO not weaker, but stronger in the end.
Some believe because of his financial independence, Trump will act independently from powerful lobbies and lobbies will have less effect on his foreign policy. What do you think of this?
The wide variety of different interest lobbies are a legitimate part of the American political system, governed and regulated by law. They work for their interests more through the US Congress than through the White House. Trump will continue to work with the lobbies, but his preferences and priorities as a Republican president might be different from a Democrat president. The critical lobby to watch will be the Jewish lobby and Trump's approach to the Palestinian-Israeli issue.
Turkish president Erdoğan has expressed his satisfaction about US election result. What will be the consequences of Trump election on Ankara and Washington relations and the US policy toward Syrian Kurds?
Turkish-American relations under Trump are likely to fare slightly better. Trump has said some positive things about President Erdoğan. The differences between the two countries will not disappear any time soon. But Trump wants to finish ISIL and end the Syrian conflict. On the other hand, Trump has also made very clear that he regards the Kurds as best of partners and has high regard for them. This does not necessarily mean that Turkey and the US will not be able to find mutual ground on this issue. In fact, Trump has said that there should be a way to bring Turkey and the Kurds together, an opinion I also share with him.
Interview by: Payman Yazdanai