Nonresident Senior Fellow Howard Eissenstat Talks with Al-Monitor

In light of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempt to shift the blame for escalating tensions with the United States on outgoing US Ambassador John Bass, POMED Nonresident Senior Fellow Howard Eissenstat spoke with Amberin Zaman about the implications.

Some analysts agree the suspension of consular services was inevitable, if harsh. “I think the US had to draw a line in the sand over continued targeting of their staff,” said Howard Eissenstat, a Turkey researcher at St. Lawrence University and a senior non-resident fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy. Eissenstat added that congressional pressure on the administration to sanction Turkey is getting too big to ignore. The Senate recently blocked the sale of weapons to Erdogan’s security detail after their violent attacks against peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC.

“As partisan as politics in Washington are, irritation with the directions of Turkish policy seems to be one of the few areas that Republicans and Democrats come together. … I expect more punitive measures, especially if the current crisis is unresolved,” he said.

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