Analyst expects better Turkish-US relations with Kerry at state helm

by Mehmet Toroglu/Bariskan Unal

If confirmed, John Kerry’s appointment as the top US diplomat will see a better future for relations between Turkey and the United States, an analyst from a Washington-based think-tank has said.

"Kerry represents the more Turkey-friendly wing within the Democrats. And I believe Turkish-US relations will be much much better with him as the head of the State Department than they were in the Obama-Clinton era," Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told The Anadolu Agency.

US President Barack Obama has nominated Democratic Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Kerry to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as the next secretary of state.

The US Senate has yet to confirm his nomination but Kerry is known to have strong bipartizan support.

Cagaptay said Kerry’s appointment would also help Turkey and the US to avoid possible tensions in relations over the Kurdish issue and the Armenian allegations over the incidents of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire.

Henri Barkey, a professor of international relations at the Lehigh University, however, expects no significant change in Turkish-US relations with Kerry at the helm of the State Department.

"I do not think that the US policy on Turkey and the Middle East will shift under Kerry’s term. Kerry is not as strong a politician as Clinton. In that sense, his appointment is a bit disadvantage. He still lacks vision," Barkey said.

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