Sputnik has discussed the relationship between the United States and Turkey with Dr. Thomas Whalen, political analyst and an associate professor of social science at Boston University.
Sputnik: How likely is it that US President Donald Trump will follow up on his warning and impose sanctions on Turkey?
Dr. Thomas Whalen: I think you need to look at it as more bluster than anything else. It's an opening move in the negotiating process. Donald Trump likes to be the bull in the china shop in terms of getting his initial point across here, but I think it's just an opening gambit. We'll see how it shapes out between the United States and Turkey, and I have a feeling there'll be some hard negotiating in the weeks ahead.
Sputnik: Some experts have noted that Donald Trump's warnings against Turkey pile more pressure on to NATO, what are your thoughts on that?
Sputnik: What are the chances that pastor Brunson will be released, and if not how will this affect bilateral relations between the two countries?
Dr. Thomas Whalen: I think it's in everyone's interest for Turkey in the United States to resolve this conflict. So I would not be surprised if in the coming weeks some sort of compromise is reached, but if it isn't reached then that's going to really fray relations.
Sputnik: What impact can the increased tensions between Ankara in Washington have on Turkey's relations with Russia?
Dr. Thomas Whalen: Well, I would think that this would push Turkey more into the arms of Russia as opposed to allying more closely with the United States. This is a further wedge that would help disrupt or even end the NATO alliance as we know it.
Sputnik: And how do you think the situation with the United States supporting the Kurdish militia will develop further? Will Washington try to assuage Ankara and distance itself from the Kurdish militia?
Donald Trump has been very upset over this. Turkey is a next-door neighbor to Iran and they think that it's a mistake for the Trump administration to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal.