US-Turkey relations take public blow with child soldiers accusation


Staff member
US-Turkey relations take public blow with child soldiers accusation
Analysts say move is a warning of possible further action from Washington against Ankara
JULY 4, 2021

The US has put Turkey on a list of countries implicated in the use of child soldiers, another step in its worsening relations with Ankara, analysts told The Media Line. The move was the latest rebuke by Washington against its NATO ally amid years of deteriorating ties, highlighted by Ankara’s purchase of Russian weapons, and accelerated by US President Joe Biden taking office, and then waiting three months to hold a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey is the first member of NATO that the US has put on the list of countries that have recruited or used child soldiers, as part of the US State Department’s 2021 Trafficking in Persons report that was released on Thursday. Ryan Bohl, a Middle East and North Africa analyst with Stratfor, told The Media Line that the US is sending a signal that it is monitoring Turkey’s human rights record and foreign policy, with the possibility of taking more serious action in the future. Bohl said it is unlikely the US would immediately apply penalties connected to the law, but that Washington now has a legal mechanism with which to punish Turkey later.