Turkey - a real turkey?

Turkey strutting its bellicose nationalist rhetoric and E Med 'leadership' again.

'Tension between the two allies has been brought to the agenda of NATO after France complained that Turkish warships have targeted a French frigate to stop it inspecting a Tanzanian-flagged vessel on suspicion that it was smuggling weapons to Libya. Turkey denied all the accusations. A report prepared by NATO experts did not support the French version of the incident, causing the French withdrawal from the Sea Guardian mission in the Mediterranean.

'Citing the incident and the report, Akar said it has been revealed that France was in an effort to conspire against Turkey in line with its political calculations, adding, “Therefore we say that France has to apologize to Turkey.” In his address, the defense minister also mentioned a long-standing dispute with Greece over the status of the islands in the Aegean Sea that escalates tension between the two neighbors from time to time. Greece’s arming 16 islands out of 23 and pledging a military status to these islands in violation of international laws is unacceptable. It’s an overt breach of the Lausanne Treaty,” Akar said.

'There is no country other than Greece who claims that its airspace is 10 miles while its territorial waters is six miles, Akar stated, also criticizing Athens for claiming the sovereignty of all islands, islets and rocks in the Aegean Sea although there is no agreement on their status. “We are not going to allow any fait accompli in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Cyprus. Everybody should be aware that there will be no solution in which Turkey is not part of. Turkey is a guarantor country of Cyprus and will never allow that its rights and interests are overridden,” he stated.'


 
Hulusi Akar was previous CGS (=CDS) in Turkey and a great mate of ACM Sir Stu Peach, Chair of the NATO Military Committee. As Minister of National Defence (he is appointed, not elected) he is probably the most powerful and respected public figure in Turkey, after Erdogan of course. He apparently has the respect of the Turkish Armed Forces - he survived the coup (held at gun point by his MA) - and took the lead (over the army) of directing OP OLIVE BRANCH into NW Syria two years ago, which was rather more sucessful than the previous incursion in August 2016.
 
A little more stirring of the Turkey stew.

'Turkey criticized the US on Wednesday for including Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program.

"Initiatives that do not observe balance between parties will not contribute to establishing a secure environment on the Island, nor will they help keep peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement. The statement noted that the US included Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program for 2020.

'Turkey supports the approach of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in this matter, the statement said. "As we have stressed many times before, these steps will not contribute to finding a solution to the Cyprus issue but instead strengthens the uncompromising approach of the Greek side,” it added.

'Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US has included Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program for 2020. “The Department of State intends to provide International Military Education and Training funding to that country, contingent on congressional appropriations and our notification of Congress,” Pompeo said at a press briefing in Washington. “This is part of our efforts to enhance relationships with key regional partners to promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he added.'


 
A little more stirring of the Turkey stew.

'Turkey criticized the US on Wednesday for including Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program.

"Initiatives that do not observe balance between parties will not contribute to establishing a secure environment on the Island, nor will they help keep peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement. The statement noted that the US included Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program for 2020.

'Turkey supports the approach of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in this matter, the statement said. "As we have stressed many times before, these steps will not contribute to finding a solution to the Cyprus issue but instead strengthens the uncompromising approach of the Greek side,” it added.

'Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US has included Greek Cyprus in its International Military Education and Training Program for 2020. “The Department of State intends to provide International Military Education and Training funding to that country, contingent on congressional appropriations and our notification of Congress,” Pompeo said at a press briefing in Washington. “This is part of our efforts to enhance relationships with key regional partners to promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he added.'


It sounds like the US ODC didn't think this one out...anything done on the island of Cyprus is problematic. Howe er the UK struck a defence agreement with the Republic of Cyprus ('Hreek Cyprus') last year, without a public murmur from Turkey or the so-called Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 
It sounds like the US ODC didn't think this one out . . . anything done on the island of Cyprus is problematic. However the UK struck a defence agreement with the Republic of Cyprus ('Hreek Cyprus') last year, without a public murmur from Turkey or the so-called Republic of Northern Cyprus.
I would suggest that the USA actually DID think about it!!

Anything, that can be done to provoke Turkey . . . to show the regime - and, its intentions - in its true light . . . has to be good !! ;) .
 
A pity their modern-day society, beliefs, behaviour, does not reflect the grandeur, spectacle, of the ancient architecture :( .
The erasure of Ataturk's secular legacy continues.

'On Friday, Turkey's top administrative court decided to annul the law by the government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, dated November 24, 1934, which turned Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum. Immediately after the announcement, Erdoğan issued a decree handing custody of the monument to the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), an exclusively Sunni state body, claiming to speak for all the creeds in the country. After the publication of the decree in the Official Gazette on the same day, the Hagia Sophia is now officially back to its status as a mosque. Its opening date is also filled with symbolism: July 24 is the anniversary of the Lausanne Treaty, the basis of the modern Turkish republic, which both Erdoğan's Islamists and its nationalist supporters increasingly question.

Turkey's Islamists and hard-core nationalists - gathered around Erdoğan and his team - have a lot to cheer for. For Erdoğan and the main current of his political affiliation, ''Milli Görüş'' (National View), Hagia Sophia has always been one of the major symbols in their struggle to abolish Atatürk's heritage, which they often express as a "parenthesis in Turkish history", an era that must be brought to a close.

'While Islamists are in a celebratory mood, the sanguine attitude among Turkey's secular politicians has been remarkable. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), whose signature to turn the Hagia Sophia into a museum in 1934 is part of the archives, meekly submitted to Erdoğan’s plans. Some of its prominent members even actively supported the decision, declaring that they hope to pray when Hagia Sophia opens as a mosque. The fact of the matter is that Hagia Sophia has had an annex that allowed people to pray since 1991. This speaks for the immense wave of populism - mixed with nationalism - that has swept over Turkey's political class.

'Another interesting point is the widespread silence of the old foes of Erdoğan - ex-generals, secular bureaucrats, former politicians of the centre-right - some of whom had been "victims" of the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials. Their bitter struggle with Erdoğan, they have long claimed, was based on the the defence of secularism in Turkey. Now that major parts of this nationalist segment after the 2016 attempted coup lined up behind the autocrat of Turkey, the question arises: If the issue was not to defend Atatürk's heritage, why did they not just seek to rule together from the very outset, when the AKP took over in 2002?

'Some at home and abroad may seek to downplay the significance of the historic decision on Hagia Sophia. They should not. Its significance has much less to do with whether the move will help cement the alliance between the AKP and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) than the huge damage it has delivered to Turkey's image and its worrisome path towards a pure Islamic republic. Its reverberations will be long term, and arguably irreparable. It is clear that the current alliance ruling Turkey under the banner of a "Turco-Islamic Synthesis" is determined to drive a wedge between the country and the rest of the civilised world by being suicidal over dealing with its very history by waging war against its own Kurds and by alienating further the Christian and Jewish minorities in the country.

'Along with the signals that expose cultural decay, the rise of nationalism, and fatigue over co-existence within society, the case of the Hagia Sophia tells us that an era is over, and that the Islamists have nearly won their historic battle to conquer Turkey.'


 

Cruthin1967

Clanker
The Don has increased trade tariffs to Turkey causing a 20% drop in the value to the Turkish Lira.

Gruaniad
BBC - Turkey

Will this simply drive Turkey into the arms of Putin?

It seems to me that Turkey is hovering between the EU and Russian influence. I don't think Turkey is a good fit with either as a largely Muslim state with a virtual dictator, It's sort of wanted, but not wanted by the EU, and Muslim states are not Vlad the Impaler's favourite either.

Where does it go from here?
Turkey's a better fit for Putin than it is for NATO.
 
Turkey has absolutely no love for Russia (in WWI half of modern Turkey was occupied by Imperial Russia) and Trump's insane foreign policy ideas are pushing a country into the orbit of Moscow. Now that's not a clever move, is it?
Erdogan appears to be making use of large numbers of jihadis in his foreign adventures.
What happens when they decide to take over?
Time Turkey was excluded from NATO, and put back in its box?
 

ROMFT

Old-Salt
Turkey's a better fit for Putin than it is for NATO.
From my experience of Russians (mostly a Russian girlfriend many years ago), the Russians are raised to despise & hate Turks, including all the Central Asian Turkic sort.
If the Turks think that there is an advantage in being best buds with the Rodina, well get the popcorn in, it could be a long story but it will be immensely satisfying when the Russians eventually screw them over.
 
A withdrawal of US troops and facilities, along with any Europeans, from Turkey would, de facto, expel it from NATO.
Troops on the ground (one Spanish GBAD battery and a US BMD radar) is the least of NATO ; the 'power' is all at Evere, and there's no way Erdogan would walk his ambassador, MilRep and their staffs out of NATO HQ when they can inflict maximum damage by remaining inside the committee rooms, blocking anyone from doing anything.
 
Troops on the ground (one Spanish GBAD battery and a US BMD radar) is the least of NATO ; the 'power' is all at Evere, and there's no way Erdogan would walk his ambassador, MilRep and their staffs out of NATO HQ when they can inflict maximum damage by remaining inside the committee rooms, blocking anyone from doing anything.
So close that HQ and move it somewhere nearby, but outside Turkey. Probably doable in under 48 hours, if the will is there.
 
So close that HQ and move it somewhere nearby, but outside Turkey. Probably doable in under 48 hours, if the will is there.
You appear to have zero understanding of NATO structures, procedures or locations. Evere is a suburb of Brussels: that's where NATO HQ is located.
 
This interesting link just popped into my in box:

 

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