U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's transition team wants to develop a good relationship with Ankara, Turkey's presidential spokesman has said.
“Biden, while he served as [Barack] Obama's vice president, came to Turkey four times and knows the region. Our contacts with the transition team so far are very positive,” İbrahim Kalın told CNNTürk on Jan. 10.
"They say they want to develop good relations with Turkey and turn a new page," he added.
He noted that there are three main issues between Ankara and Washington, namely the U.S. support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, who is the believed mastermind of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, and Turkey's acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.
Turkey has been at odds with Washington over its support for the SDF, which is spearheaded by the People's Protection Units (YPG) - the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the U.S. and the European Union.
Kalın said that if steps are taken on these three areas, the two countries could turn a new page in their relations.
On Dec. 14, Washington imposed sanctions, coming under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), targeting NATO member Turkey's Defense Industry Directorate (SSB), its chief İsmail Demir and three other employees over its acquisition of the S-400s.
Washington says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO's broader defense systems. Turkey rejects this and says S-400s will not be integrated into NATO.
During the interview, Kalın said that Turkey hoped for positive developments in its relations with Greece, adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had an "amicable" phone conversation with the head of the European Commission and that two EU presidents would visit Turkey at the end of the month.
Kalın also said that Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu would soon go to Brussels.
"There is a favorable ground there to create a positive atmosphere. I can say that work on this will give good results soon," he said.