The public agenda in Turkey has been busy with three main events this week.
The Atlantic Council accused Turkey of being a “rogue state” on their list of top ten risks and opportunities forecast.
Another interesting evaluation on Tukey came from the American research group Stratfor, a think tank that includes former top executives in the US government.
Lastly, the Turkish public has been heavily affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, with shipments of different vaccines still on hold.
‘ROGUE STATE’ ACCUSATION BY THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL
The Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council, which is known to be in contact with US intelligence agencies, has published its forecasts on the year 2021.
On the list that was published as the Top ten risks and opportunities for 2021, Turkey was included.
The Atlantic Council has published this list with the headline “Neo-Ottoman Turkey goes more rogue” in tenth place.
While describing Turkey as a rogue state, Atlantic Council made the following statements:
“Increasingly authoritarian, Islamist, and expansionist, Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan has either intervened militarily or has placed troops in Somalia, Qatar, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and the Balkans. Ankara has been confronting Russia in Syria, Libya, and Azerbaijan while attacking US-allied Kurds that are fighting ISIS. Turkey is deploying the Russian S-400 air-defense system, which poses a threat to NATO and has prompted US sanctions. And it has conducted naval provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean, contravening the Law of the Sea Treaty and threatening Cyprus. Many Arab states see Turkey as a threat, while Erdogan is also provoking France over its handling of recent terror attacks. Ankara’s multi-front military assertiveness could spark more conflict and force a reckoning within NATO, which counts Turkey as a member.“
The US think tank “Atlantic Council” was founded in 1961, in Washington DC.
The Council opened their largest headquarters outside the United States in Istanbul in 2013 and аре known as the architects of the ‘Ocalan opening’ and ‘Armenian opening’ plans.
In addition to the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA and other American intelligence services аll havе close ties to this organization. Оne of its financiers is also known to be the Soros-affiliated ‘Open Society Foundation’.
The analysts on the Atlantic Council either formerly worked in key positions in the Pentagon, the US Army, CIA/intelligence organizations, the Department of the State, or is expected to work in these positions after working on the Atlantic Council; some of them are quite well known in Turkey.
Stephen Zunes, known as the man who published the partitioned map of Turkey for the think tank Stratfor, another organization that has ties to the US State Department and the Pentagon.
Retired Colonel Ralph Peters published the Map for the Greater Middle East Project in the magazine “Military Review”.
Peter Galbraith, also known as the “father of the Kurds”, is an American diplomat who said that a “Kurdish state should be established” on the territories of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey.
It was the United States who first used the term ‘rogue state’ for Libya while it was led by Muammar Gaddafi.
The United States has also used the term for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well.
This term has been mostly used for countries that do not bow to the US-based international system.
STRATFOR’S EVALUATION OF TURKEY
Another interesting report on Turkey came from the American research group Stratfor at the end of 2020.
The report described the foreign policies of Turkey as aggressive but independent, and quickly explained the Turkish economics in the midst of a pandemic with the following words:
“For Turkey, 2020 was a year of aggressive foreign policy, and an economic crisis at home its aggression tried to mask. We correctly forecast that Turkey would take a more “independent” path for its foreign policy this year. In Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean, Nagorno-Karabakh and elsewhere, Turkey showed time and again it was unwilling to bend to U.S. or European pressure. And while we didn’t have high hopes for the Turkish economy, the pandemic obviously made things much worse than expected, with inflation rising and the currency depreciating at record levels.”
CURRENT PANDEMIC SITUATION
Turkey had been under lockdowns since the end of November as a result of sharply increasing cases and deaths.
With the month-long lockdowns, the number of new cases had a significant reduction to almost a half; yet death numbers have not been reduced.
The number of daily cases stands at 15,197 and the number of deaths stand at 257 as of December 28 in Turkey.
Countries, especially in Europe, have begun procuring and administering vaccines to help pave the way towards ending the pandemic.
While Turkey had agreed with the Chinese Sinovac company for the coronavirus vaccine, the delivery to Turkey was postponed Sunday for “one or two days,” the Turkish health minister announced.
The latest snag was caused by an emergency in Beijing customs due to the discovery of a novel coronavirus case there, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.
The first batch of 3 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine had been expected to arrive in Turkey at the end of December.
And as a result of the incident, customs mobility has been temporarily suspended, Koca explained.
It has been also said that vaccination against the novel coronavirus will not be compulsory, as the country’s health minister said Sunday.
“Our vaccination program is ready. With our scientists, we will make efforts to convince the public about the necessity of vaccination against the coronavirus,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter
On the other hand, a new agreement was reached with the German company BioNTech, who were “very happy” to be able to help Turkey, as the firm’s Turkish-origin co-founder Dr. Sahin said this Saturday after a recent procurement deal for novel coronavirus vaccines.
“Turkey is our homeland. We’re very happy to be able to help people in Turkey,” Dr. Ugur Sahin told in an interview a day after Turkish authorities announced a deal with BioNTech early on Friday.
“We have discussions with TUBITAK […] We also want to open a BioNTech company in Turkey,” he said, referring to Turkey’s Scientific and Technological Research Council.
“We want to invest in Turkey. We’re bringing our products to Turkey for the first time. We want to do research in Turkey,” he added.
“We started working with professors at several universities. In addition to efforts on vaccines, we want to do cancer studies in Turkey,” he also noted.
According to the latest agreement, the German firm will send Turkey an initial 550,000 doses of its COVID-19 shot by the end of the year or early 2021 at the latest.
“We plan to send 30 million vaccines to Turkey by the end of 2021. We’ll send 4.5 million vaccines by the end of March.”
We want to produce more than 1 billion doses together with Pfizer for next year. We need to distribute these doses to more than 80 countries, he said.
Sahin also underlined that people should not fear other vaccines against COVID-19 that Turkey has procured based on their origin.
Referring to the CoronaVac shot from Chinese firm Sinovac, Sahin said China also conducted long trials and clinical tests for the vaccine.
The important thing is to have enough vaccines in Turkey, he said, adding: “All the vaccines I’ve seen so far work well and help.”