There are increasing calls in and the U.S. to end the 50 year old alliance between the two countries.

is also failing to prevent the downd spiral in ties. Secretary of State visit in is going to be this week, but this is unlikely to alter much, given that lines have been firmly drawn.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu repeated once again a few days ago that the U.S. has to decide who its ally is, or a terrorist organization. This is a hackneyed call at this stage. Looked at superficially seems to have decided already.

is also saying that Tillerson should not come to try and mollify , but to explain how the U.S. plans to meet ’s long list of demands.

These include the extraditions of Fethullah Gulen, who says masterminded the failed coup attempt in July 2016, and ending U.S. support for the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) in , which considers to be a Kurdish terrorist organization. is unlikely to meet these demands given the current atmosphere in ties.

also has demands it wants fulfilled. These include the release of U.S. embassy and consulate employees and a U.S. pastor accused of being Gulen supporters. Many in see these people as “hostages” held by on the basis of trumped-up charges.

Tillerson visit

Nevertheless, we see that the U.S. is trying to force to the limit, because it is a global power and has interests in . Futile as it may seem Tillerson will try, therefore, to limit the damage as best he can.

With two sides, however, that cannot afford to appear to be caving into each other’s demands, we have a dangerous stand-off that seems to be heading tods an unprecedented crisis between the two countries. What is clear, though, is that both sides will lose much if matters come to a head.

Given the nationalist fervor that has overtaken the country, many Turks see a breakup with the U.S. as a good thing. Sober minds in are nevertheless asking whether the has factored in the potential consequences of such a breakup.

Simply relying on , and expecting this to be the panacea for the fallout from any breakup between and the U.S. appears a naïve policy to many.  The only real panacea would be ’s ability to stand up and face its problems on its own.  Whether it can do this today is a very big question.

A country as divided as has become, where a large segment of the population looks on another large segment with feelings of ever deepening enmity does little to enhance ’s capabilities in the international arena.

For a country to be able to project the kind of influence in the world that desires, it first has to be united at home as far as elemental issues are concerned. It is also apparent that this kind of unity cannot be secured by a stick.