Skip to main content

Biden, Erdogan ride wave of momentum after Turkey's NATO vote, F-16 sale

One expert expects that Erdogan will pay a visit to the White House in the near term as the two parties bridge key differences.
US President Joe Biden (L) speaks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting as part of the G20 summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 15, 2022. (Photo by Made NAGI / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MADE NAGI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

This is an excerpt from Turkey Briefing, Al-Monitor's weekly newsletter covering the main political, business and security stories from Turkey each week. To read the full newsletter, sign up here.

ANKARA — As Ankara and Washington are steadily leaving behind one of the worst decades in their bilateral history, the consensus among observers is that a decision by Turkey to appoint a career diplomat as the country's top envoy in the US capital reflects its desire to maintain the current upward trajectory of their relations.

Ankara this week named Sedat Onal its top envoy in Washington. Unlike his predecessor, Murat Mercan, a founding member of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), Onal is not a political appointee but a seasoned diplomat who is currently Turkey’s ambassador to the United Nations and previously served as a deputy foreign minister. As the No. 2 of the ministry between 2018 and 2023, he led his country's talks with high-level US officials.

The detente follows more than a decade of strained relations over a range of issues, specifically over the United States' alliance with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Ankara deems a national security threat, and Turkey's purchase in 2017 of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.