The NATO summit and Turkey

The NATO summit and Turkey

The 2018 NATO Summit was held in Brussels (Belgium) on 11th and 12th of July 2018. Two articles of the Brussels Summit Declaration were directly concerned with Turkey.

The 23rd article of the declaration refers to a threat from the south border to Turkey:

“Assurance measures continue to provide the fundamental baseline requirement for assurance and deterrence.  In addition, tailored assurance measures for Turkey to respond to the growing security challenges from the south contribute to the security of the Alliance as a whole, and will be fully implemented”

Article 49 makes NATO’s perception about the source of this threat clear, and it is not the PKK nor ISIS. While they consider separatist terror and radical fundamentalists to be harmless, they claim that Turkey’s main threat comes from Damascus:

“Syria has a significant inventory of short range ballistic missiles whose range covers part of NATO’s territory and some of our partners’ territories.  Syria has used these missiles extensively against its own population.  We remain concerned that Turkey has been hit three times in the last four years by missiles launched from Syria.  We continue to monitor and assess the ballistic missile threat from Syria.

The increasing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles in the vicinity of the south-east border of the Alliance has been, and remains a driver in NATO’s development and deployment of a ballistic missile defence system, which is configured to counter threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area”

The real facts

Is there any truth in NATO’s claim? To determine the real threat to Turkey, one must proceed from the facts:

– From March 19th to the 29th, the United States, Israel, Greece and Cyprus conducted anti-Turkish military maneuvers in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. These exercises were nicknamed “Noble Dina”, which refers to a story from the Torah and Bible; Dina, who was Jacob’s daughter, was kidnapped and raped by the prince of a neighboring city. In response, Dina’s brothers attacked the neighboring kingdom, forced its people to get circumcisions, and then killed them. Thus, Dina’s brothers took her revenge. In regards to the military exercises, the implication is that Turkey is the metaphorical rapist Cyprus, which represents Dina, and “the brothers” of Cyprus; America, Israel and Greece, are taking revenge by destroying Turkey.

– In Syria, the United States and Turkey almost came into conflict over the Menbic and Kurdish separatists. The countries decided to sign an agreement to avoid such a conflict, but this agreement was far more tactical than it was strategic. The US will not cease to support the Kurdish separatists regardless.

– A year ago, NATO conducted provocational military exercises in Norway, where the Atatürk and Erdoğan were exhibited as “targets” and positioned as “official enemies”.

– The Incirlik air base is another persistent problem. US planes stationed at the base provide air support for the PKK and are being used against countries in Western Asia, as well as Turkey itself. Furthermore, the role of this base during the attempted coup on July 15, 2016, is well known: the base served as the primary headquarters from the pro-American wing of the conspirators.

From NATO to Eurasia 

Thus, Turkey is under pressure from the West Atlantic Union led by the United States, leaving no possibility for Turkey to rely on the Atlantic bloc for its security needs. For example, the US Secretary of State recently announced their effort to pull Turkey back into NATO’s sphere of influence. This means that they consider Turkey to have officially left the bloc. It is clear that not only is Turkey no longer a part of the alliance, it has in fact have become one of its enemies. NATO has begun to actively target Turkey, which shows that a contradiction has developed between the countries’ official NATO membership and its active geopolitical position, a contradiction which deepens by the day.

It is in light of these facts that the US and NATO have attempted to manipulate Turkey’s threat perception in the Brussels summit declaration. Nonetheless, Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-air missile defense systems has made Turkey’s true threat apparent, as well as the fact that NATO’s attempt to disrupt Ankara’s relations with Moscow and Tehran will definitely come to naught.

Turkey’s security threats will continue to deepen. Turkey is on the verge of an important decision, but has not yet reached it. Within one and a half or two years, Turkey will make a fundamental decision, resolving the current contradictions.

Mehmet Perinçek

Historian and political scientist (Türkiye)

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April 2024