Turkey, the Geo-Strategic Pivot of History

To paraphrase Napoleon: “Geography is destiny; control Constantinople, control the world.” This was true in the time of Napoleon, and it is even more true today.

Turkey was one of the most faithful allies of the US. It helped the US in the Korean War, 1950-53. A NATO member since 1950. To whatever the US wanted, Turkey said yes. Turkish labour helped rebuild post war West Germany. But Turkey was taken for granted by the West, essentially a colonial entity in possession of the most geo-strategic real estate in the world…

How things change. Today, the US and Turkey are in confrontation mode. Until July 15, 2016, Turkey embraced the US- Israeli view of Syria; Assad must go, because Assad would not buckle. There was a confrontation with Russia. A Russian plane was shot over Syria by a Turkish jet. A Russian ambassador was assassinated in Turkey. Trade sanctions were imposed on Turkey, and Russian tourists boycotted it. The US was hoping for an irrevocable confrontation between Russia and Turkey. A coup d’état against Erdogan, if successful, would make this confrontation with Russia permanent. This confrontation would re-enforce the Wall of Enmity which the US is building from the Baltic, the Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, India, yes India through the Straits of Malacca to the Philippines, Japan, and South Korea. If the coup d’etat had been successful, Russia would have been eliminated from Middle East involvement.

But the coup did not succeed, possibly with Russian help. Erdogan apologized to Putin, and relations normalized. Slowly, rapprochement between Turkey and Russia became friendly. And then suddenly, three countries: Iran, Turkey, and Russia synchronized their Middle East policy especially in regards to Syria and Lebanon and Hezbollah. So, now, instead of Russian disarray, one has US-Israeli-Saudi disarray.

How will things play out? World events cannot be taken in isolation. The Wall of Enmity has been breached in two places: the Ukraine and Turkey. The Wall of Enmity in North East Asia is stable, because the tension is high.

The situation in the Ukraine is different because of the German situation. Germany is entering a period of uncertainty. Whoever and under what circumstances the next German government is formed, the German people will demand independence, denuclearization, and the end of US military occupation. The Germans are increasingly yearning for an independent foreign policy. The US will try to prevent a German exodus by increasing tensions and the chances of war in the Ukraine and blaming Russia as the aggressor.

Turkey is the key geostrategic pivot of History. The Turks are a proud, nationalistic people. Under Erdogan, they have had the first truly independent foreign policy since the time of Kemal Ataturk. They will not buckle to Western pressure. They do not care for the EU. By being independent and moving closer to Eurasia, Turkey will help reduce or even eliminate Western influence in the Middle East. Turkey will withdraw from NATO very slowly and the US will not push. If Turkey withdraws, NATO unravels. That is the one thing the US does not want.

Another attempt at a coup d’état cannot be excluded.

 

 

 

 

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