Things hotting up with Turkey

Turkey’s early relationship with ISIS was ‘cosy’?
ISIS member exposes relationship between ISIS and Turkey
Turkey has swayed whichever way suited it, whenever in has chosen.

I know I’ll be accused (again) of being a Turkeyphile but there’s no love lost between Turkey and Russia. Turkey has had to accept Russia as a de facto neighbour, in spite of having lost numerous wars with them. There is doubt that the S-400 purchase will go ahead; NATO has not opposed it although many countries have expressed concern.
It was expressly against NATO policy. The head of American forces in Europe and top uniformed officer in NATO Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti stated if Turkey went through with its decision to buy S-400 he would recommend the Pentagon to ban the F-35 to Turkey and testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee said it would be his “best military advice" that sales to Turkey of the F-35 be stopped.

He has made many Anatolian peasants wealthy through regional development and çok büyük infrastructure projects. The road and high speed rail network is amazing; domestic civil aviation is incredibly well developed and cheap; there is a construction boom (in spite of a tanking economy). He’s also very pragmatic and knows how far he can push ‘foreign powers’
All that building required a steady flow of foreign borrowing. Major contractors owe about $56 billion in foreign currency loans. Much of that money tied up in Erdogan’s megaprojects, which enjoy government financial guarantees. But analysts point out that Erdogan and builders/personal friend developed a dangerous symbiosis. Property developers and construction companies were with him since day one, his inner circle largely consisting of large contractors who he kept very happy.

As for knowing how far he could push after further warnings about a ban Erdogan’s response was that “The F-35 project will collapse without Turkey." An interesting statement given the number of Air Forces in various countries already operating them.
Erdogan says F-35 project would collapse without Turkey - Reuters
His other response was that his personal influence with rump would take care of any possible embargo.

And if the problem was with providing Turkey with F-35’s which could be compromised by Russia, the next looming problem is that along with any offers of co-production of the SU-35/57 Turkey can also give Russia a top class briefing on the maintenance and operation of the F-35’s courtesy the training given to the 42 Turkish personnel shortly on their way home to Turkey who were undergoing training at Luke and Eglin. Two Turkish instructor pilots based at Luke, who had completed the F-35 pilot training, four pilots, and the maintainers.

- no anti-US feeling - which, as I've stated above, is not manifest in Turkey.
Anti US feelings were on already on the rise.
Anti-Americanism Rises in Turkey as US-Turkish Tensions Escalate
The history of US-Turkey relations have always been somewhat problematical. Turkey joined NATO in 1951 when both countries worked together to counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War. America and its other allies focused on threats to Western Europe, with Turkey as the buffer against Moscow’s advances in the Middle East, and the Black Sea. But in 1963 Lyndon Johnson warned in a letter not to invade Cyprus which was badly received by Turkey and in 1974 went ahead and invaded. Turkeys feelings during, and after the first Gulf war, did not help matters. The somewhat murky relationship with ISIS. The ongoing disagreements over the Kurds, and now the present serious falling out.

Things may well have been lukewarm before, but it is quickly moving to seriously hot.
 
It was expressly against NATO policy. The head of American forces in Europe and top uniformed officer in NATO Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti stated if Turkey went through with its decision to buy S-400 he would recommend the Pentagon to ban the F-35 to Turkey and testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee said it would be his “best military advice" that sales to Turkey of the F-35 be stopped.
And as anyone who knows about NATO knows, NATO military officers do not make political statements, as these are the preserve of politicians. Scap was speaking on a US national matter as COM USEUCOM, not as SACEUR.
 
And as anyone who knows about NATO knows, NATO military officers do not make political statements, as these are the preserve of politicians. Scap was speaking on a US national matter as COM USEUCOM, not as SACEUR.
It was not a political statement!

It was the stated opinion, and considered military advice of a Senior NATO General!
 
How do you seperate the two? The US is the major partner/financier.

Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 is contrary to NATO policy.
 
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According to DSACEUR things are just carrying on as normal at the higher echelons of NATO, so says my source who was in discussion with him on the subject recently.
 
NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence
S-400 not interoperable.

S-400 designed to down NATO aircraft.
Turkey bought Russian S-400 missiles designed to down NATO planes. For the US, that's a problem - CNN

Purchase of the S-400 undermines commitments all NATO Allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems, and which they are attempting to promote in NATO partners like the former Soviet bloc states, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, and Croatia.

NATO has stated that its role in the defence of the global commons must be enhanced with multi-domain forces able to operate to effect across air, sea, land, space, cyber, knowledge and information, impediments to battle-critical information-sharing must be removed, and commonality of weapon systems improved. The purchase of the S-400 is not improving that commonality.
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_49137.htm

Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in July 2019 when asked about the S-400 purchase. "The S-400, the Russian air defence system, it’s not possible to integrate into the integrated NATO air and missile system, which is about, you know, sharing radar picture, which is about joint air policing, which is about also shared capabilities. And Turkey has not asked for that. So the S-400 will not be integrated into NATO’s air and missile defence system."

Note, sharing radar picture, joint air policing, shared capabilities, which are all commitments NATO partners make, and, not possible to integrate.
 
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Certainly the Turkish/Erdogan’s response to the F-35 ban has been curiously muted given his temperament. Be a bit ironic if it had given him a heart attack.
 
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Meanwhile, in other news, the Turkish education system seems to be going down the pan, and with it economic growth. Erdogan has sought popular support for faith schools where nothing particularly useful is taught; like the tanking economy, this won’t play well in the polls, although they are now years away.

Turkey’s education system raises alarm for future
 
Meanwhile, in other news, the Turkish education system seems to be going down the pan, and with it economic growth. Erdogan has sought popular support for faith schools where nothing particularly useful is taught; like the tanking economy, this won’t play well in the polls, although they are now years away.

Turkey’s education system raises alarm for future
Certainly Gulen’s visions for Turkish education were far more enlightened and would have done more for the country than Erdogan.

The network of the schools private or semi-private schools founded by the members his movement served more than 2 million students, many with full scholarships.There were about 300 schools in Turkey and over 1,000 schools worldwide.

Gülen’s Perspective on Education: Foundations of His Ideas and Actions - Fethullah Gülen's Official Web Site
 
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Certainly Gulen’s visions for Turkish education were far more enlightened and would have done more for the country than Erdogan.

The network of the schools private or semi-private schools founded by the members his movement served more than 2 million students, many with full scholarships.There were about 300 schools in Turkey and over 1,000 schools worldwide.

Gülen’s Perspective on Education: Foundations of His Ideas and Actions - Fethullah Gülen's Official Web Site
Unfortunately his organisation was also behind the coup attempt three years ago - an illegal attempt to usurp a democratically-elected government. Irrespective of personal opinions of Erdogan, Gülen was behind this in an unholy alliance with Kemalist officers.

One such school took over parts of the old Hendon Police college.

The whys and wherefores have been done to death in previous posts; tens of thousands of otherwise innocent people who were involved in these schools have been arrested or stripped of their livelihoods. No one has benefitted from this in the long term.
 
Unfortunately his organisation was also behind the coup attempt three years ago - an illegal attempt to usurp a democratically-elected government. Irrespective of personal opinions of Erdogan, Gülen was behind this in an unholy alliance with Kemalist officers.

One such school took over parts of the old Hendon Police college.

The whys and wherefores have been done to death in previous posts; tens of thousands of otherwise innocent people who were involved in these schools have been arrested or stripped of their livelihoods. No one has benefitted from this in the long term.
You seem to have ignored the fact that we were discussing the differing focus on education of Erdogan and Gülen, and which stood a chance of offering young Turks, and the country a better future, and swung happily back into Erdogan type rhetoric about Gülen and the coup.

Since we have now dropped any opinions on which education system may have been better for Turkey, I postulate the Gülen way superior, let’s address your automatic mantra which has been done to death, along with a large number of Turks accused of being associated with the coup.

It has also been put forward that there exists a theory that Erdogan engineered an early triggering of an attempt to unseat him in order to have a pretext to go ahead with a substantive rooting out of all opposition.

Whether this did, or did not actually happen is immaterial, what did happen was an ‘unholy’ purging of thousands of Turks even vaguely suspected or in any sort of way able to pose any sort of opposition, in a decidedly ‘undemocratic’ way.

Erdogan’s then unchecked reign has done little to help Turkey economically, politically, or internationally. It has managed to put it at serious odd with NATO, and the US. He has weakened his armed services with the removal of any suspected of being Gülenists/disagreeing with his policies, or of simply being too Western leaning.

Apart from that, what else besides education in Turkey did you say was ‘going down the pan’?
 
First rocket strikes into Turley for quite a while.

'Five people were lightly wounded after one of two rockets thought to be fired from within Syria landed on a house in a Turkish border town on Monday night, the provincial governor’s office said.

'The Defence Ministry said on Twitter that Turkish forces had responded to the rocket fire and had hit seven targets on the Syrian side of the border. The precise origin of the rockets or who fired them was not immediately clear.'


Rocket fired from inside Syria wounds five in Turkish border town: governor
 
Well, this could get 'interesting' (my bold)! Short of carpet-bombing, I'm not sure what the US has left in the negotiation locker with Turkey.

Apologies for the DM link, but can't get to AP.

'TOKYO (AP) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday that the U.S. intends to prevent any unilateral invasion by Turkey into northern Syria, saying any such move by the Turks would be unacceptable.

'Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened an imminent attack in the northeast to push back U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish Forces. American and Turkish military officials have been meeting in Ankara to try and negotiate a settlement to avoid the invasion, and Esper said Tuesday that he believes they have made progress on some of the key issues. U.S. officials have made clear that an invasion is an extremely risky venture that could threaten the safety of U.S. forces working with the SDF and potentially impede the continued defeat of Islamic State militants in the region.

' "What we're going to do is prevent unilateral incursions that would upset, again, these mutual interests that the United States, Turkey and the SDF share with regard to northern Syria," Esper told reporters traveling with him to Japan. He said the U.S. is trying to work out an arrangement that addresses Turkey's concerns, adding, "I'm hopeful we'll get there." He did not provide details on where progress is being made.'


 
US to Turkey, ‘Don’t touch the Kurds who were the only ones who effectively helped us on the ground against ISIS’.

Turkey has long held that the Kurds are all for uniting and carving out a Kurdish homeland which would take parts of Turkey Syria and Iraq.

The last time the Turks suspected an ethnic group, the Armenians, of being forward enough to even think of any form of autonomy, the Turks wiped them out, committing genocide on a vast scale.

It is estimated that one and a half million Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1923. There were an estimated two million living in the Ottoman Empire on the eve of W.W.I. Well over a million were deported in 1915.

Despite this being a countrywide event the Turks absolutely refuse to acknowledge that this ever happened.

The actual killings of the men, torture, rape, abduction, starvation, drownings of women, girls and children is completely and comprehensively documented by Westerners in the country at the time, but is completely denied by almost all Turks.

Nearly everyone know what the Nazis did, very few know what the Turks did countrywide.

Had an Armenian friend in the US when I was working there after leaving the Marines, who had lost a number of members of his family. He was a 'little upset' and over a beer of two gave me a few details. I didn’t believe him and looked into it... bit eye opening. He hadn’t told me half of what went on. I guess it may have slightly coloured my opinion of them as a nation
 
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