One week and 3.5 contention points with Washington

Turkey-U.S. relations, which have already been on a rough patch primarily because of Washington's partnership with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, loaded additional stress on three - possibly four - fronts in only a week's time. First contention point popped when the U.S. Joints Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford came out against Ankara's preparations to purchase the Russian S-400 air defense system. 

In fact, Dunford's statements at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado would puzzle one's brains. Despite clear words from Fikri Işık on the matter, who was the Defense Minister until last week, Dunford referred to "incorrect media reports," disregarding the fact that the source of those media reports was a Turkish government official. "They have not bought the S-400 air defense system from Russia. That would be a concern, were they to do that, but they have not done that," he said. 

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to Dunford, saying, "God willing, we'll see them in our country soon," Washington issued further statements reminding Ankara that the NATO allies agreed in 2016 Warsaw Summit to move away from Russian sourced weapons. Meanwhile, determined messages kept coming from Ankara. One even had a skylarking tone: "If our ally is that concerned about Turkey's purchase of the S-400, we can always 'change its name' to make them feel better," wrote a senior advisor to Erdoğan, Gülnur Aybet, on Twitter. 

Washington probably keeps the pressure alive with reminiscence of Turkey's last minute pulling out of talks to buy the Chinese HQ-9 air defense system in 2015. While Ankara blatantly signals it might intensify military cooperation with Moscow if the U.S. continues working with the YPG after the...

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