NATO's Slap to Turkey: Erdogan Declared Enemy

    • Comments - 17 November 2017, 23:29
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has apologized to the Turkish president for the incident at the Norwegian training where Ataturk and Erdogan were depicted as enemies. The Turkish government immediately withdrew its 40 troops participating in the exercise.

NATO Secretary General apologized to Erdogan. “I apologize for the offence that has been caused. The incidents were the result of an individual’s actions and do not reflect the views of NATO,” he stated. It is hard to tell apology from irony in this statement, saying that the chart with his name is not NATO’s official opinion.

It’s not but it could be, like in the joke. A gentleman walking down the street greets a lady standing on a balcony, addressing her Mrs. In answer to the greeting the lady complains that she is not Mrs., she is Miss. “Pardon me, I’ll come upstairs now and correct my mistake,” the gentleman says.

Jens Stoltenberg did not say such a thing but it is implied between the lines of his statement. This is not NATO’s view and is the result of an individual’s actions but if Turkey continues its current policy on NATO, NATO may go upstairs and correct the mistake, turning the “enemy chart” to an official opinion.

The incident between Turkey and NATO is not a joke and the “individual action chart” is a warning to Turkey that NATO member Ankara’s policy is already bordering with hostility with NATO. Announcing that it is not NATO’s view is a hint to Erdogan that Turkey is taking hostile steps against NATO rather than NATO against Turkey.

In other words, Turkey is reaping what it had been sowing for years. Erdogan’s policy being aimed at creating a Turkey independent from the West has led to a high level of tension in relations. In addition, the purchase of Russian C-400 air defense systems that has bewildered NATO is only one of the problems between Ankara and the alliance. It is a visible part of the iceberg.

The problem is that Turkey is not trying to be part of the West or NATO but wants to be equal in its Caucasian and Near Eastern policy, as well as in the relations with the EU.

Interestingly, the incident at the NATO training follows Erdogan’s visit to Sochi where the Russian president announced that the volume of the Turkish-Russian relations has been almost fully restored.

At the same time, the visit to Sochi indicated through several signs, including Putin’s statement, that Ankara has a secondary role now, and Russia is the first violin.

This may concern the West and Erdogan was made understand that Turkey is closer to being NATO’s enemy rather than Russia’s friend.

At the same time, they implied that the game of selling the relations with Russia to West or NATO has no future. The West believes that Turkey will be back sooner or later and Erdogan knows this too. Simply he is planning a triumphant return.

The “individual’s actions” during the NATO training were perhaps meant to bring Erdogan back onto the solid ground, showing him that Ankara does not have a big choice of options of return: either prodigal son or enemy.