Greek-Turkish Relations
Updated at:

Great danger from the East - Erdogan's plans for Turkish sovereignty in the SE Mediterranean-Balkans-Caucasus after Trump's possible election

It is a fact that US-Turkish relations under President Biden have been at "nadir" for a long time, with tendencies of improvement recently, on the occasion of Erdogan's acceptance of Sweden's entry into NATO and the sale of 40 F-16 BLOCK-70 fighters from the US to Ankara.

However, it is more than obvious that the Turkish President prefers Trump to Biden at the US "helm", hoping, according to an article by the Turkish State Agency ANADOLU, "for a lifting of Washington's commitments to the Alliance, enabling Turkey to play a leading role in all security arrangements in Central and Western Europe", he said:

NATO's collective security

"According to Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, 'The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America will be considered an attack against all of them and accordingly agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in the exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), shall assist the Party or Parties subject to such attack by immediately undertaking, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such actions as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force."

I hope you will understand that your NATO Allies have not had the opportunity to consider whether they have an obligation to protect Turkey from the Soviet Union ,if Turkey takes a step leading to Soviet intervention without the full consent and understanding of her NATO Allies.

 Watching the "breathless shocks" and "panic" caused by former United States (US) President Donald Trump's recent threats regarding NATO was amusing, but with intensely tragic implications.

Astonishment was the order of the day, so US Vice President Kamala Harris was tasked with "administering" soothing doses against nerves.

But instead of expressing awareness of the historic moment and walking carefully, she chose an extremely tired rhetoric, stating that "We must defend international norms".

At exactly the same time, the US vetoed a series of UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and proved utterly unable to prevent Israel from violating these "international rules" in the bloodiest and most heinous way. 

Who can believe such platitudes when Washington officials do not or cannot support their so-called ideals?

Turkey's NATO perspective

When Trump recently claimed that he would encourage Russia to attack NATO members who did not pay their share of defense spending, frankly, we could not feel any sympathy for the unease Trump's threat caused in most capitals of the Alliance states.

Since June 1964, Turkey has been living with the reality that the NATO Charter was not a mutual defense treaty that bound all members equally.

Instead, Article 5 only ever applied if Washington decided to do so.

Contrary to what German Chancellor Olaf Scholz claimed, Turkey has long known that NATO was not exactly "all for one and one for all".

The relativity of NATO's aid guarantee is irresponsible, dangerous and is solely in Russia's interest."

When former US President Lyndon Baines Johnson's infamous letter to Ankara became public, other NATO members did not express much concern that the President's attitude could constitute a violation of the NATO Charter or that overall confidence in the US commitment could be weakened by such sentiments.

Quite the contrary, Turkey was described as the "unreliable" partner and the US went so far as to impose an arms embargo on Ankara after Turkey's 1974 intervention in Cyprus.

Washington's behaviour forced Turkey, over the last 40 years, to develop its own domestic defence industry.

Turkey was also forced to use Sweden and Finland's membership in NATO as leverage because its interests did not have equal legitimacy with other members of the Alliance.

The issues involved in these concessions - the F-16 modernization kits, the arms and technology embargoes imposed by Sweden and Canada, NATO's disingenuous attitude towards the PKK/SDF (both in Syria and Europe) - should never have been issues for Turkey.

In fact, the policies on these issues were mistakes from the moment Washington or Brussels officials dreamed them up. If Washington and the other NATO capitals had approached these issues in a reasoned, objective and honest manner, relations between Ankara and the rest of NATO would have been much smoother over the past decade, to the benefit of all.

NATO without the US?

Trump's other threat, to withdraw the US from NATO, was equally vicious and the consequences, not openly mentioned, would have been chilling in Brussels.

The reason is that NATO without Washington would immediately make Turkey, along with the United Kingdom (UK), one of the two dominant military powers in the alliance.

Turkey possesses, by a fairly wide margin, the second largest conventional army in NATO, has emerged as a leading drone force, now enjoys significant indigenous defense capabilities, and has come face to face with Russian forces in places as diverse as Syria, Libya, and the Caucasus mountains over the past decade.

Curiously, recent analyses that worry about Trump's threats and Europe's lack of military capability have studiously avoided saying anything substantive about Turkey.

With a U.S. exit from NATO, some NATO capitals, which for decades have treated Turkey as a second-class member, would suddenly have no choice but to accept Ankara's enhanced leadership role in the alliance.

Turkey should have become the leader of NATO's security arrangements in the Eastern Mediterranean, but a US exit from NATO would go a step further, making Turkey the leader of all security arrangements in Central and Western Europe.

Renewed Turkey-US cooperation?

Following the Turkish parliament's approval of Sweden's NATO membership, the corresponding flurry of corrective actions taken by other NATO members on issues important to Turkey, and recent discussions between Ankara and Washington, many analysts have begun to talk about a renewed relationship.

The prosecution of New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez seems to have improved the atmosphere in Congress about Turkey. Even New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who has echoed Menendez's aggressive rhetoric against Turkey in the past, seemed genuinely happy to be in Ankara last week.

On the other hand, the many regrettable actions taken by US officials toward Turkey over the past ten years and the continued US support for the Syrian branch of the PKK clearly indicate that hopes for a renewed relationship should remain muted pending further developments.

Accordingly, as the November US elections approach, Russia improves its position in Ukraine, and the Gaza conflict shows no signs of abating, a quiet window of opportunity may have arrived for US and NATO officials to rebuild relations with Ankara.

Even if none of Trump's doomsday scenarios come to fruition, more lasting progress can be made if U.S. and NATO officials themselves can assess their own biases about Turkey in a more rational and balanced way."

"The swing that shook you and still shakes you"

For our part, we would respond to all the above mentioned by the "neighbours" with an expression of our wise people. 

"Swing that shook you and still swings you".

The reason is that in the above Turkish rant, nowhere is the militarily powerful EU , Germany and France mentioned, but only the friendly to Turkey, Great Britain.

As if the EU-Germany-France would give the keys to NATO to Turkey in case Trump is elected and chooses to distance himself from NATO.

In such a case the Euroarmy will be implemented in a flash, using NATO infrastructure.

Let's not give the Turks false hope.




Follow Pentapostagma on Google news Google News