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A marriage on the rocks - NATO vs TURKEY

Relations between NATO and Turkey have never been worse. It’s time to fix that

By Rayk Hähnlein | 28.12.2017

Turkey vs NATO marriageEPANATO and Turkey: the partnership is in trouble, but a reconciliations seems likely.

Turkey has been a member of NATO for 65 years. An iron-clad marriage, you could say. But iron is prone to rusting, and that’s exactly what is happening to the relationship between NATO and Turkey. Turkey’s membership of the North Atlantic alliance has never been free of controversy. Since the 1950s, hostilities between Turkey and Greece and between Turkey and the United States on the status of Cyprus have put a strain on relations. But the deterioration of the relationship between NATO and Turkey we are seeing now is different. It isn’t about any one conflict, or a passing trend. Rather, it’s all to do with the current political tide, which will not be easily turned. There are three main reasons why it has come to a head, four reasons why it is worth repairing the relationship, and five recommendations on how to do that.

Why it has come to a head  

Gezi Park: To pinpoint precisely when relations between Turkey and the West started to sour, we have to go back four years. After a bomb attack in the Turkish province of Hatay, on the Syrian border, which claimed the lives of 52 people in May 2013, fears grew across Turkey that the country would be drawn into a fierce war against its neighbour. These fears were only exacerbated by the increasingly harsh line adopted by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the issue of Syria.

Amid this atmosphere, protests broke out at Gezi Park in the heart of Istanbul against the construction of a shopping centre, which soon turned into a movement expressing dissatisfaction with the government. The crowds were dispersed with force. The death of eight demonstrators and Erdoğan’s unforgiving rhetoric split Turkish society, causing concern in Western countries. It was precisely this concern and the sympathy with the demonstrators that made Erdoğan feel ‘the West’ would be glad to see him fail, something he and his party, the AKP, fought back with a resounding win in the local and presidential elections the following year.

Failed military coup: Erdoğan’s conviction that his NATO partners are against him and his AKP government gave a huge boost to the failed military coup in July 2016. In Turkey, it was perceived that Western politicians were condemning the harsh countermeasures taken by the government more than the actions of the rebels. The US government’s decision not to extradite the alleged coup plotter, Fethullah Gülen, provoked as much outrage as when Turkish NATO officers under suspicion form Ankara were granted the chance to apply for asylum by some of Turkey’s European NATO allies, in particular Germany. At the same time, the AKP government exploited the failed coup as an opportunity to restructure the armed forces, curb their power considerably, and replace sacked officers with less powerful soldiers.

Syrian crisis: Turkey is at loggerheads with its NATO partners, not least the US, on their Syria strategy. With the outbreak of the crisis in Syria in 2011, Ankara quickly moved to oppose the Assad regime, which had been an ally until that point, and put pressure on NATO given Turkey’s position as a potential frontline state. Since 2012, the alliance’s Patriot units have been stationed in Turkey to ward off potential rocket attacks from Syria. NATO Airborne Warning & Control System aircraft have been monitoring the airspace above the Turkish-Syrian border since December 2015, and over IS-held territory since October 2016.

Moreover, NATO as an institution does not want to see itself embroiled in the war in Syria. Turkey’s initial reluctance to join the fight against ISIS until mid-2015 and the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet that year have given the impression that the country is becoming increasingly unpredictable.

The most important discrepancy in the strategy is the question of how to deal with the Kurds in northern Syria, who have proven themselves to be the most reliable partner of the US-led coalition against ISIS on the ground since 2014. The military successes achieved by Kurdish fighters, most recently in Rakka in October 2017, have also boosted their political self-confidence. Any increase in autonomy, in whatever form, in the three Kurdish-administered districts in northern Syria would be perceived as a substantial threat by Turkey, giving rise to fears that the struggle for autonomy could spread to the Kurdish part of Anatolia. Turkey feels that its concerns are not understood by its NATO partners and are even actively undermined by the US. This political deadlock inevitably affects NATO as an organisation.

Taking these three developments together, it would seem that the best way to overcome these tensions would be for Turkey and NATO to part ways. However, this would rob NATO of the value that Turkey brings to the organisation, and vice versa.

Another SIGN of just how close we are to Christ's Return.  Bible Prophecy has long shown that Turkey will never be a member of the EU and will withdraw from NATO as the Bible reveals that Turkey will have a close relationship with Russia in the lead up to mans final conflict and the return of Christ.  So keep watching this development with Turkey as she moves closer in her ties to Russia. Based on Bible Prophecy Turkey will be with Russia and Europe when they invade the Middle East as described in Ezekiel 38.   We fully expect to see Russia become more closely linked to Europe militarily whereby Russia will become a "guard" unto the European Nations according to Ezekiel 38:7. 

Also Ezekiel 38:6 says that "Gomer (France), and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (Turkey) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee."

So somehow Turkey will be involved with Russia and it's Army and the move into the Middle East.

See this article to learn more about this and the latter day prophecies of the Bible.

Bible Prophecy about the alignment of Nations in the Latter Days