Democratic President-Elect Joe Biden has opposed Turkish policies from as far back as 1978, according to a recently resurfaced Turkish media article.
According to the Turkish press in 1978, Biden had stated that Turkish policies were in conflict with NATO‘s and it was an important matter for him.
The Turkish article, written in the midst of the Cold War, quoted Biden as saying that “NATO bases in Turkey were of no importance.”
13 Mayıs 1978: Türkiye'nin ABD'deki üsleri kapattığı bir dönemde Senatör Joe Biden, "Türkiye NATO'dan ayrı bir yöne gidecekse, bu kendi bileceği iştir… Türkiye'deki ABD üsleri hayati önem taşımıyor" açıklaması yaptı pic.twitter.com/dWN4NKEFkg
— Türk Dış Politikası (@TrDisPolitika) November 8, 2020
Speculation is increasing today that the U.S. are preparing to withdraw its nuclear weapons from the İncirlik Airbase in southeast Turkey.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen to İncirlik,” Ron Johnson, the U.S. senator who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee for Europe, told the Washington Examiner. “We hope for the best, but we have to plan for the worst.”
The İncirlik base has been one of the most important military installations for NATO as it is the closest point that the Atlantisist organization can reach the Middle East.
Biden’s comments about the İncirlik base were made 42 years earlier, which was of course in a different era.
However, no love has been lost between Turkey and Biden.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesperson, İbrahim Kalın, said on Twitter on August 16 “The analysis of Turkey by Joe Biden is based on pure ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy. The days of ordering Turkey around are over. But if you still think you can try, be our guest. You will pay the price.”
The analysis of Turkey by @JoeBiden is based on pure ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy.
The days of ordering Turkey around are over.
But if you still think you can try, be our guest.
You will pay the price.
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) August 16, 2020
This was followed on September 25 with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu saying on Twitter that Democratic Nancy Pelosi’s “rise to become Speaker of the House is what is truly worrisome for American democracy, given her blatant ignorance. You will learn to respect the Turkish people’s will,” before having the audacity to tag Trump in the same tweet.
.@SpeakerPelosi’s rise to become Speaker of the House is what is truly worrisome for American democracy, given her blatant ignorance. You will learn to respect the Turkish people’s will. @realDonaldTrump
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) September 25, 2020
Last week however, Çavuşoğlu had completely different language when it became more apparent that Biden would win the election, saying “Regardless of which candidate takes office in the U.S., we will pursue a sincere approach to improve our relations.”
The question still remains though?
Does Biden still think NATO bases in Turkey are of little importance?