Biden will find it hard stopping Congress from sanctioning Turkey - strategist

U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will find it difficult to prevent U.S. legislators from imposing sanctions on NATO member Turkey, said Tim Ash, senior emerging markets strategist for BlueBay Asset Management in London.

Much will depend on the approach of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ash said in e-mailed comments on the outlook for emerging markets under the Biden presidency.

Erdoğan has angered many politicians in Washington by cosying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, attacking Kurdish militants allied with the United States in the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, and by purchasing S-400 air defence missiles from Moscow.

“There is a bipartisan disdain for Erdoğan in DC, and only Trump stopped sanctions being rolled out,” Ash said. “It’s going to be tough for Biden to stop Congress hitting Turkey hard.”

Still, there are plenty of people in the Democratic establishment who appreciate Turkey’s geopolitical importance, he said.

“Not sure the Turks have thought through yet how they are going to handle a Biden presidency,” Ash said. “Turkey could hence go either way.”