Why do the Turks have such a negative sentiment towards its ally? It is worth noting that Ankara and Washington have been at odds over several issues. For instance, in 2019 the US imposed sanctions on Turkey over Ankara’s incursion into Syrian Kurdistan. A year later, Washington once again punished its NATO partner, this time because of Turkey’s decision to purchase S-400 air defense systems from Russia. In addition, the US supports the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, while Ankara sees the YGP as a terrorist organization because of its alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Moreover, to this day America refuses to extradite to Turkey Fetullah Gulen – a Pennsylvania-based former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned deadly enemy, who is accused of complicity in a 2016 failed coup attempt.
Although improving ties with both, Russia and the United States, seems to be one of Erdogan’s top priorities for the time being, Ankara will likely keep implementing its relatively sovereign foreign policy, which could eventually lead to confrontation with Moscow. Russian media and analysts have already started blaming Turkey for its actions in Syria’s Idlib province that is controlled by the Turkey-backed forces. They accuse Ankara of de facto annexation of the region by introducing Turkish lira as the official currency, giving Turkish passports to the local population, and building schools and hospitals in the north of Syria. Ironically enough, that is exactly what the Kremlin is doing in the Donbass region of Ukraine that has been under control of the pro-Russian forces since 2014.
Russia good, Turkey bad. /s