ATHENS – It is not only Turkey’s provocations against Greece that is a concern of their NATO allies. Step by step, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be bent on alienating his Western ‘friends’ and on November 14 the Washington Post Published a Bloomberg Analysis by Andreas Kluth titled ‘Erdogan’s Ego Trip Is Undermining NATO’. The article sounds the alarm on Turkish threats against Greece, and it also spotlights Ankara’s other disturbing words and actions.
The sarcastic opening paragraph begins: “Part of being, or becoming, allies is agreeing who your common enemies are and aren’t. Otherwise, there’d be no need for the alliance in the first place. But that’s easier said than done, especially when at least one ally is on an ego trip worthy of an Ottoman sultan.”
The author explains who is being referred to in the same vein: “In the NATO alliance, that would yet again be Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He’s out only for himself, and making things unnecessarily complicated as a result. To look strong at home before an election next June, he keeps messing with the minds of friends and foes alike, caring not a whit whether his shenanigans undermine Western cohesion and European security in general.”
Kluth notes that while Hungary is the only NATO member which openly disagrees that “Russia under President Vladimir Putin is the alliance’s main adversary…Erdogan, too, is keeping his options open, often playing frenemies with Putin.”
NATO is also angry that Erdogan is playing games regarding the NATO candidacy of Sweden and Finland.” While Kluth notes that there are legitimate issues regarding their positions on Kurdish separatist groups that are engaged in terrorism in Turkey, he says firmly, “where Erdogan is completely out of line is the Aegean Sea.”
The article reminds that ”Erdogan taunted the Greeks the other day – ‘We will do what is necessary when the time comes. As we say, we can come suddenly one night.’” Kluth emphasizes: “You read that right: Erdogan is actually threatening war against another NATO country.”
After wondering whether Erdogan really means war or is just “blustering in the runup to the election?” – those will be held next year in Turkey – he asks whether he is just “angling for sweetheart military deals with the US.” Kluth’s speculation continues: “Does he actually want to rebuild Turkey in the image of the Ottomans, rather as Putin fantasizes about restoring the empire of the Tsars? Above all, would Erdogan be a reliable ally in the event of war?”
Kluth concludes by saying that regarding keeping Putin in check, “Turks should remind their president, that is just as much in Turkey’s interest as in NATO’s.”
Material from Bloomberg via the Washington Post was used in this article.