First meeting of the TEPAV USA Center on Obama’s Foreign Policy Audio file First meeting of the TEPAV’s new USA Center was carried out with the theme “The Obama Era in US Foreign Policy.”
ANKARA – Right after the opening, the TEPAV USA Center carried out its first event with a meeting on US President Obama’s foreign policy.
Dr. Bülent Alirıza Turkey Project Founder and Director at the Washington based think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), delivered the keynote speech during the meeting themed “The Obama Era in US Foreign Policy.”
“Turkey-US relations at one of its highs”
Dr. Alirıza spoke as the keynote speaker during the meeting on November 29, 2011 moderated by Assistant Professor Şaban Kardaş of TOBB University of Economics and Technology. Alirıza stated that there was a ceiling and a floor in US-Turkey economic relations and that the relations went for almost seven decades since the Truman Doctrine and stressed that the Obama era the relationships had been in one of its highs. Reminding that the “Anti-Bush” president Obama visited Turkey very soon after he came to power to repair the relations that Bush had damaged, he also commented on relations between Obama and Erdoğan and the current state. He stressed his concerns about the “personalization” of bilateral relations between countries and about potential problems this might cause.
Commenting on US foreign policy in the Middle East, he maintained that Obama considered Turkey as an irreplaceable ally in the MENA region.
Turkey-US-EU nexus …
Arguing that ignoring the EU would prove troublesome for Turkey, he stressed that Turkish-American relations were weak in economic terms whereas the economic was the strong domain of the Turkey-EU relations. Emphasizing that US had began to give great support for Turkey’s EU membership in the 1990s, the support had currently diminished, he maintained.
Alirıza also shared with the audience his views on the US domestic politics dominated by the election agenda. He maintained that foreign politics was not to the interest of many Americans and occupied the agenda of only a small elite, he stressed that the American peoples followed developments about unemployment, economy and security.
The meeting was closed after the questions and contributions of the audience.