Turkey, NATO and Biden

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A recent article in the WSJ coauthored by former senator Joe Liebermann, addressed the matter. Here I add my thoughts.
Recep Erdogan, Turkey’s president, has been in power for years but could not get his nation into the European Union. His governing style has not measured up to their standards. But now that Finland and Sweden have asked to be part of NATO, he has become the one party in the entire organization to block the two nations’ desires.
Erdogan has not applied the sanctions against Russia most of the EU – except for Hungary – have enforced. Yet he likes to see himself as a mediator that could deliver the deal that will put an end to the war.
He won’t.
As an autocrat, convinced that he should reign in Turkey until his death, he shares much with Putin. So he has no clue as to what freedom is.
He was useful to the EU in stemming the flow of Syrian refugees at the start of that nation’s civil war and got paid for it. Yet, now and then, he threatens to open the borders and let everyone through. Which puts the burden on the EU to find better solutions.
One of Erdogan’s objections to Finland and Sweden’s bid to join NATO, is that there are Kurdish terrorist groups in both countries who are enemies of his regime.
That is a good point. Why should any NATO nation host any terrorist group against another member nation?
But does Erdogan and Turkey bear responsibility for creating the conditions that led to the formation of such groups?
Turkey has a troubled history dealing with adversaries. At the start of WWI they killed thousands of Armenians, which president Biden, in 2021, on the 106th anniversary of the massacre, pronounced a genocide.
The Kurds have been American allies in the war against ISIS in Syria, and that must be recognized.
Still, support for any terrorist organization is a bad idea.
Erdogan not only wants the Kurdish groups in Finland and Sweden expelled, but also wants to be allowed to buy American planes, a deal that has been held back because a few years ago, against NATO’s wishes, Turkey purchased a Russian missile system which raised concerns that sensitive information from the aircraft would end up in Russia’s hands.
In spite of all of this, Turkey’s membership in NATO has continued.
But now the invasion of Ukraine and the strong response of the West has changed everything.
Erdogan never imagined that Biden and Europe would pull together into a solid bloc, except for Hungary.
Russia’s atrocious invasion and disregard for human life have created a new power alignment.
Finland and Sweden want to join it, but Turkey says no unless their conditions are met.
However, in this new power alignment, as in any other, priorities are needed. And while Turkey’s concern about terrorist groups deserves full attention, it should not be enough to block Finland and Sweden’s admission.
Turkey’s history of silencing the opposition is not compatible with a democracy. Thus, I agree with the view that it should not have the privilege of barring democracies from joining and expanding NATO.

Oscar Valdes oscarvaldes.net, medium.com, anchor.fm, buzzsprout, apple and google podcasts

2 comments

  1. The truth has to be told from all sides of the Trio or Triumvirates.

    From the foregoing they all have nothing important to do for the human race: not Biden, not NATO and certainly not Turkey.

    So, if expelling Turkey is not an option why has beefing them up with EU membership not been on the table: inconsistency and Erdogan.

    So they know it, Erdogan has to go 20years from PM to President and the people are yelling foul to him

    What is NATO bringing to the table because Trump’s hand is in this war and the Hunter Biden scandals

    Bottom line: in trying to keep West pure they will lose substance, a mix is perfect

    In a lighter mood, accommodate Turkey or expel them and let them flood the EU with immigrants then make the EU strong both economically and politically with NAtTO showing its Wisdom of Security Tooth to protect and turn the EU into another China

    What was Sweden and Finland doing criticizing the USA and NATO since 1949 calling for hopeless SOCIAL DEMOCRACY which has backfired while TURKEY DID ALL NATO’s dirty jobs since 1952

    For allI care Erdogan was born in 1954, two years after Turkey joined NATO

    Therefore, if Biden knows politics or ceding it to Kamala could be great, he should fix it because Clinton, Obama or Bush Jr would have done better

    Liked by 1 person

    1. interesting perspective. I do think that Biden is a good man and he has stepped up to the task in these difficult times. The likelihood is that some sort of accommodation will be found with Turkey, so Erdogan consents to finland and sweden joining NATO and something is done about the Kurdish groups. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

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