Category Archives: Turkey will never join EU

Turkish election of June 24, 2018

On June 24, 2018, Turkey will hold elections which will change the political structure of the country. The presidential system will replace the parliamentary one. Executive power will be dominant. The individual behind the change is president Recep Erdogan.

Erdogan has been active in Turkish politics since 1994 when he was elected mayor of Istanbul  1994-98. Since about 2000 to 2014 he was prime minister. In 2014, he was elected president for five years. This June election of 2018 is a year early, because he wants to change the political structure of the country with a strong president as head of state. He is the leader of the Justice and Development Party. He is a conservative Islamic nationalist which the Turkish people love.

Turkey is geo-strategically a very significant country. It controls the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. It is part of Europe and the Middle East. A nation of more than 80,000,000 people, about 20% are Kurds. The country is fairly large, 302,500 square miles; it encompasses all of the Anatolian Peninsula.

Turkey fought in the Korean War,1950-53, on the US side. It has been faithful and subservient to US interests. It has tried to be a member of the EU without success. Now Erdogan no longer cares about the EU. Under Erdogan for over three decades, Turkey has developed into a modern industrial state. Turkey has had an insincere policy towards Syria, with no problems with neighbours, to outright support of ISIS; it had a strategic partnership with Israel. That changed because of the Palestinians which Turkey strongly supports. Turkey still supplies almost 50% or more of Israeli fresh water needs. Until 2016, Turkey had an antagonistic relationship with Russia. It shot a Russian jet over Syria claiming it was over Turkey. The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Istanbul in 2015. Possibility of war existed, but Russia as usual played calmly.

The coup d’etat of 2016 changed everything; it failed badly. Turkey claims that the coup was organized by religious leader Gulen who lives in the US. Turkey accused the US of being involved, which the US denies. The US refuses to release Gulen to Turkish authorities. Russia helped Erdogan during the coup. A policy of friendship developed between Russia and Turkey. Erdogan apologized to Putin for shooting down the Russian jet and the assassination of the Russian ambassador; Russian tourists and trade returned to Turkey.

Iran, Russia, and Turkey are coordinating their policy on Syria.  The policy includes no partition of Syria and that Assad’s fate is to be decided by Syrian people. This is anathema to the US and Israel. The US is in direct confrontation with Turkey over Kurdish areas of Syria. Turkey will not allow a Kurdish enclave in N.E. Syria. The US wants an independent Kurdistan in Syria which would be allied with Israel. Turkey is vehemently opposed to any Kurdish state. Syria, Iran, and Iraq are also opposed to a possible Kurdish state. Erdogan is opposed to any idea of a Kurdish state.

June 24, 2018 elections are absolutely crucial for Turkey and the West. It seems Turkey is orienting itself to Russia and Eurasia. Turkey is buying the Russian S-400. The US threatens sanctions on Turkey and may not sell Turkey its F-35; Turkey doesn’t care. If Erdogan gets strong support in this election it will indicate that the Turkish people support his policies. Turkey will embrace Russia,  and NATO will become irrelevant as two major members clash.

The future relationship between Turkey and the US will be very interesting; it will affect the entire world. Watch the Turkish elections this coming Sunday, June 24, 2018.

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.

 

 

 

 

Will Turkey leave NATO and join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

Turkey has been a “good boy” ally of the West since 1952 when it joined NATO. It’s been in many wars supporting the US, from the Korean,1950-53 to Iraq One, 1990, Afghanistan 2001. Iraq Two in 2003, to present wars in Iraq and Syria, by supporting ISIS. ISIS nearly won, but now, is possibly losing.

The only benefit Turkey has ever achieved from being the “good boy” ally was supplying cheap labor to West German economy. Germans look kindly on the Turks for being their close ally in the First World War, and by being pro-German in the Second World War.

For all its devotion to the West, the rewards have been small. Wasn’t it the British ex-prime minister Cameron, who said that Turkey can become member of the European Union in next three thousand years? Turkey has no chance of joining the Union. Vague promises yes, but no membership. Russia was one of the most important trading partners of Turkey. Turkey gambled and lost an excellent neighborly relationship with Russia by shooting an unarmed bomber over Syrian territory. I am sure that, Turkey got an encouragement from the West to increase the enmity between the Turks and the Russians. The economic reprisals from Russia were massive and Turkey is still suffering from them. All this Turkish confrontation with Russia did not cost the US a penny, but the benefits were immense.

The Turks started to put two and two together and they did not like what they saw. President Erdogan started to think. First, he apologized for the plane, and Putin responded; rapprochement between Russia and Turkey began. It will be a slow process, but it is the beginning.  Also, Turkish rapprochement with Iran, Iraq, and Syria will begin. ISIS will be the big loser. Someone in the West did not like this, hence the coup d’état.

The coup d’état failed, and the Shanghai Co-operation Organization beckons to Turkey to join provided the conditions are met. The New Silk Road of Afro-Eurasia led by China also beckons Turkey, and Turkey might just bite. As a result, the West will face a debacle in the Middle East. The West will not like the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia. Another coup d’état will be attempted to prevent it. A great confrontation between Turkey and the West is in store. How the historical wind will blow, and how history will flow remains to be seen. Only time will tell.