Turkey's washington ambassador: Our differences of opinion are transient
According to Turkey's ambassador to the United States, Namik Tan, the merging of the unique characteristics of the two NATO allies makes the relationship between them "invaluable" and the current differences of opinion between Ankara and Washington on particular issues are "transient," not permanent. "The United States is a global actor, drawing her strength not only from her military might, but even more from her economic and scientific supremacy and core values like democracy, human rights, the rule of law and an inclusive pluralistic society based on entrepreneurship," Tan last week told a leading Washington-based think-tank. "To sustain this standing, the United States needs to put more emphasis on her soft power and alliances with regional powers. Turkey, on the other hand, has a unique standing drawing strength from her location and history. Spanning Asia and Europe, she neighbors Africa through the eastern Mediterranean. Her rich history makes Turkey an actor which shares a common heritage and cultural links with many different regions, countries and peoples. The merging of the unique characteristics of both actors makes this relationship invaluable." Tan continued: "The term 'model partnership' emphasizes the importance of close cooperation between Turkey and the United States based on common values and principles. After the Turkish 'no vote' on sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council (in May), and (US) op-eds arguing that there was a 'shift of axis' in Turkish foreign policy, the idea of a model partnership may sound naïve to some. On the contrary, these differences of opinion are only transient and they do not cast a shadow over the fundamentals of our alliance. The Turkish-American relationship has withstood the test of time. We have diversified and enriched its strategic texture. Methodological differences on certain issues do not trump our shared principles. Time and again, our dedication to uphold democracy, strengthen human rights and ensure unhindered access to free markets has solidified the strategic nature of this relationship."