Updated: Jun 6
by Burak Bekdil for the Gatestone Institute - June 5, 2022
"Turkey is a member of NATO, but under Mr. Erdoğan, it no longer subscribes to the values that underpin this great alliance. Article 13 of the NATO charter provides a mechanism for members to withdraw.
Perhaps it is time to amend Article 13 to establish a procedure for the expulsion of a member nation." — Former US Senator Joe Lieberman and Mark D. Wallace, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2022.
"Giving in to Ankara's demands amounts to letting an autocrat design the security architecture of Europe and shape the future of the Western system." — Cengiz Çandar, journalist, Al-Monitor, May 24, 2022.
With its $8,000 per capita GDP, Erdoğan's ailing Turkey is not more powerful than the other 29 NATO allies combined. NATO's political leaders must stop acting as if it is.
Just when, after years of idling around, NATO appears to be gaining some strategic prominence following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the only Muslim member of the alliance is holding 29 other members as hostage, blocking the most critical move in its history. Surrendering to an Islamist's well-known oriental bargaining tactics will mean the demise of the alliance.
In a historic move, Sweden and Finland recently submitted their written applications to join NATO but Turkey's Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is threatening to use his country's veto power to block the Nordic nations coming under the Western security umbrella. This is putting NATO's renewed credibility at stake, presumably to the delight of NATO's nemesis, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On May 25, senior Swedish and Finnish delegations arrived in Ankara to meet with Erdoğan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalın, and deputy foreign minister Sedat Önal, with a mission to overcome Turkey's objections. Every single diplomat in the Turkish capital knew that the mission would fail before it even took off.
"We stated that this procedure [Sweden and Finland joining NATO] would not be possible until Turkey's security concerns were addressed," Kalın told the media after the meeting. But what are Turkey's security concerns, and why are they related to two small European Union nations, one with a 1,300 km (810 mile) border with Russia?
Officially speaking, Turkey demands "written agreement" from Finland and Sweden for steps to end their "support for terrorism" -- meaning their alleged logistical and political support for the PKK Kurdish insurgents and their YPG branch in Syria. It accuses the two countries of harboring members of the "Gülen movement," which Ankara alleges was behind a failed military coup attempt in 2016. Furthermore, Ankara demands that Sweden and Finland end the ban on exporting weapons to Turkey, which they imposed after Turkey's military incursion into northeast Syria in 2019.
Ankara said that it has requested the extradition of Kurdish fighters and other suspects since 2017 but has not received a positive response from Stockholm. The Turkish government claimed that Sweden has decided to provide $376 million to support Kurdish fighters in 2023 and that it has provided them with military equipment, including anti-tank weapons and drones. Sweden denies these accusations.
Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey's leading journalists, was recently fired from the country's most noted newspaper after 29 years, for writing in Gatestone what is taking place in Turkey. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
For the full article in pdf, please click here:
In a historic move, Sweden and Finland recently submitted their written applications to join NATO but Turkey's Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (pictured), is threatening to use his country's veto power to block the Nordic nations coming under the Western security umbrella. This is putting NATO's renewed credibility at stake, presumably to the delight of NATO's nemesis, Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)