Beyond the Cusp

January 15, 2010

The Turkey Problem for NATO

Filed under: Uncategorized — qwertster @ 2:01 PM

The protesting and pestering between Israel and Turkey has received an overly fair amount of press coverage. Most of the reporting placed the onus on Israeli misbehavior; something I reluctantly must grant is completely truthful. The juvenile shenanigans of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon were shameful. The Turkish Ambassador to Israel Ahmet Oguz was well within his rights to demand a formal and written apology from everybody from Mr. Ayalon on up to and including Prime Minister Netanyahu. On the other hand, we must also not completely lose track and bury the driving reasons behind the protest to begin with.

Despite the mishandling of the protest, Israel was also completely within their rights to protest any number of recent insults slung towards Israel and Jews out of Turkey. The glaring and primary insult is the continued broadcasting of a television show based on an anti-Jewish blood libel depicting Israel Defense Forces soldiers as brutal murderers that among other things shows multiple images of the IDF brutalizing the Palestinian population by kicking elderly people on the ground and shooting children in the chest. Additionally, there have been numerous recent statements made by Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan against Israeli actions from last year’s operations in Gaza to recent surveillance overflights of Southern Lebanon. One of the concrete results from the Israeli overflights of Lebanon was the discovery of numerous explosive traps buried by Hezballah along the Israeli Lebanon border in defiance of United Nations Resolution 1701. These IED and other explosives have since been disarmed and removed.

Another recent development concerning Turkey has been a number of agreements and treaties signed with Syria. One of the more troublesome agreements is a basic treaty of mutual defense. The combination of a mutual defense pact between Syria and Turkey, a new closeness and cooperativeness between Turkey and Iran, Turkey and Israel strained relations and troubling future, along with the apparent slide of the Turkish government towards Sharia Law and Islamification, NATO may find itself with some difficult choices in the not too distant future. With the increased hostility and probable conflict becoming increasingly evident between Israel and Iran, how would NATO handle the situation should Syria back Iran, as they have a mutual defense treaty, in a conflict with Israel thus forcing Turkey to back Syria and also declare war upon Israel? By treaty, all of NATO is bound to support Turkey in any conflict and thus would be bound by treaty to also declare war upon Israel. Is this a situation NATO would find desirable? If not, then time may be short to find an alternative.

As I have pointed out before, this is a problem of our own making. About three years ago, it became apparent that the Turkish military was on the verge of carrying out its Constitutional duty to remove an overtly religiously based government. The United States and the European Union reigned in the Turkish military by threatening to reject Turkey’s bid for entrance into the EU. It was made apparent that if they wished to be a member of the Western powers, especially the EU, then the military must remain totally subservient to the civilian government and should never ever take actions to depose a duly elected government no matter what the Constitution called for or how extreme said government might prove to be. This has directly led to Turkey sliding ever faster into the orbit of Iran, Syria, and the Islamist block, just the sort of thing Turkey’s military was intended to prevent. So, now with Turkey turning to befriend Iran and Syria and departing from its ties to the West and Europe in particular, what is NATO to do? Will NATO act and give Turkey an ultimatum to return to secular governance or does NATO wait until they are called upon by treaty to war with Israel? To be honest, I fully expect NATO to sit on their hands until they are faced with just that choice, ignore the NATO Charter or declare war on Israel. At that point, they will finally stop sitting on their hands. They will then wring their hands, hang their heads and sorrowfully say they have no choice but to honor the NATO Pact and attack Israel. That will be a fateful and dark day.

Beyond the Cusp


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  2. […] future. We had predicted that Turkey would become a burden to the rest of NATO in an article titled The Turkey Problem for NATO and should be forced from the group as a defense against the changes which would prove to turn […]


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