Turkey: Putin’s Ally in NATO?

Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia. Pictured: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, on March 10, 2017. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

 

  • On March 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would never turn back from the S-400 missile deal with Russia. He even added that Ankara may subsequently look into buying the more advanced S-500 systems now under construction in Russia.
  • With the S-400 deal, Turkey is simply telling its theoretical Western allies that it views “them,” and “not Russia,” as a security threat. Given that Russia is widely considered a security threat to NATO, Turkey’s odd-one-out position inevitably calls for questioning its official NATO identity.
  • Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia.

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations’ call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the end of the Korean War, Turkey had lost 741 soldiers killed in action. The U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan embraces 462 Turkish soldiers. Continue reading

“We Aren’t Slaves”: Erdogan Says Russian S-400s A “Done Deal”, Hints At Future S-500 Upgrade

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/S-500%20prometheus.jpg?itok=p171UAC4

S-500 Air Defense System, which Erdogan said Turkey could upgrade to in the future, in defiance on Washington. Image via Military and Commercial Technology blog

 

“This is over” — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this week as US Congress continues discussion and debate on holding up delivery of Lockheed-produced F-35 stealth jets purchased previously by Turkey due to Ankara’s intent to receive Russian S-400 anti-air defense systems from Russia. Continue reading

Intel: How Turkey is turning to Russia amid row with US over Syria

https://9c998969b63acdb676d1-37595348221e1b716e1a6cfee3ed7891.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/almpics/2019/02/GettyImages-1022333528.jpg/GettyImages-1022333528-870.jpg

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu give a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow, Aug. 24, 2018. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The timing of the Turkish foreign minister’s unexpected phone call today with his Russian counterpart in the middle of US-Turkey talks on Syria is the latest sign that Washington and Ankara remain hopelessly at odds over how to move forward in the region.

Why it matters: Mevlut Cavusoglu’s call to Sergey Lavrov was made “upon the initiative of the Turkish side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The Syria dossier topped the agenda. Continue reading

Turkey To Receive Russian S-400 Delivery in July, Rejects US Patriot Systems Offer

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/Patriot%20missiles.jpg?itok=l-OfpY3x

US Army’s Patriot Surface-to-Air missile system

 

Turkey is now venting its wrath as its F-35 standoff with Washington is thrust to the next level, and after Friday President Trump signed a spending bill that blocks further F-35 transfers until November 1st of 2019, which gives the White House a window of time to evaluate if Ankara will indeed move forward with transfer of Russia’s S-400 air defense system to Turkey. Amidst the Pastor Andrew Brunson detention affair which drew widespread media attention last summer Congressional leaders demanded that the over 100 Lockheed Martin-made F-35 stealth jets purchased by Turkey be blocked from delivery. Following Brunson’s release, the bigger security issue became Turkey’s seeking the S-400. Continue reading

Turkey’s Big Nuclear Energy Ambitions

Nuclear plant

 

Turkey’s elusive quest for harnessing nuclear energy dates back to times which most of us perceive only through the black-and-white footage of 1950s and stories of our parents and grandparents. Launched by President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program, it took off steadily as by 1956 Turkey already boasted a reactor research facility not far away from Istanbul, on the shores of lake Küçükçekmece. By the 1970s the Turkish authorities have pinpointed the most suitable site for the construction of a nuclear plant – they have chosen Akkuyu on the Anatolian coast, making use of its proximity to the sea, low population density and at the same time closeness to big demand hubs, as well as its low seismic activity. Continue reading

Berlin hopes Mosque tax will give rise to ‘German Islam’

Since the 19th century, Germany’s Catholics and Protestants have paid church taxes in order to fund the churches and schools of their faith. Now, politicians in Europe’s largest country are considering extending the scheme to the Muslim population, as a way of reducing the influence of foreign countries and encouraging the growth of a “German Islam.”

A “mosque tax” would be modeled on the Kirchensteuer or “church tax” that is currently paid by more than half of all Germans, collected through the tax system, and distributed to Christian and Jewish organizations. It currently amounts to around 8-9% of a person’s salary. Continue reading

De-Dollarization Spreads: Why These 5 Nations Are Backing Away From The Buck

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/5c2765dddda4c832388b460f.jpg

 

The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar. Continue reading

Saudi admission of Khashoggi death leaves turmoil in Riyadh, fallout on Saudi-US relations

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/debka/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/20105001/Mbs-Jamal-Khashoggi.jpg

 

President Donald Trump saw this when he said: “Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable. It’s a big first step, only a first step.” He also announced he would work with Congress on the response.

There are too many fingers in the pie and open questions for the scandal to die down any time soon. For one, what happened to the body of the dead journalist? The Saudis now report that it was handed to an unnamed “local collaborator.” This mysterious person either got away, was smuggled out of Turkey by Saudi agents or is no longer alive. This may explain the sweep Turkish police have been conducting in the woods near the consulate and other parts of Istanbul. Continue reading

Neo-Ottomanism Surges in Middle East Politics

https://www.strategic-culture.org/images/news/2018/10/15/or-41562.jpg

 

The fate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hangs in the balance. The common perception is that everything depends on which way President Donald Trump moves – go by his own preference to bury the scandal over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance or give in to the rising demand that Saudi-American relations can no longer be business as usual. Trump’s mood swing suggests he is dithering. Continue reading

Meet Turkey’s New Sovereign Wealth Fund Chairman, Who Has “Now Taken Public Companies Prisoners”

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/erdogan%20sultanate.jpg?itok=ZFRytyc0

 

What does a man who already controls pretty much everything in his country  from politics to the judiciary to defense  give to himself? How about direct takeover of his country’s sovereign wealth fund?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund after recent promises to exert greater influence over the economy. He’s nixed the old guard management and hand-picked their replacements, in a move his political rival, presidential candidate who lost the June election, Muharrem Ince, has aptly described as taking “public companies prisoners”.

And not to be one to break medieval sultanate tradition, he’s further named his son-in-law and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as deputy chairman. Continue reading

Turkey’s Latest Power Grab a Naval Base in Cyprus?

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/pics/3512.jpg

Turkey’s Naval Forces Command has “submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Turkey should establish a naval base in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” Pictured: The Turkish Navy frigate TCG Oruçreis. (Image source: CC-BY-SA-3.0/Brian Burnell via Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • The possibility of a Turkish naval base on Cyprus does not bode well for the chances of a Cyprus reunification deal, particularly after the breakdown of the July 2017 peace talks, which were suspended when “Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island.” Turkey has 30,000 soldiers stationed on Cyprus, the northern part of which it has illegally occupied since 1974.
  • “If Greek-Turkish tensions escalate, the possibility of another ill-timed military provocation could escalate with them… Moreover, such a conflict might open up an even greater opportunity for Russian interference.” — Lawrence A. Franklin.

Turkey’s Naval Forces Command has “submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Turkey should establish a naval base in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” according to Turkey’s strongly pro-Erdogan daily, Yeni Safak, which recently endorsed the proposal for the base in an article entitled, “Why Turkey should establish a naval base in Northern Cyprus.” Continue reading

Erdogan Warns Trump That Alliance Is at Risk as Tensions Climb

https://images.assettype.com/bloombergquint%2F2018-08%2Fdef71f5e-2e13-4b07-ba3d-cc769a6b3b6f%2F329213452_1_3.jpg

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, walks with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, ahead of an event in in Brussels, Belgium. (Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg)

 

(Bloomberg) — Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the U.S. that its decades-long alliance with the country is at risk after rising political tensions between the two nations erupted and helped stoke a financial crisis that shook global markets.

Erdogan, in an editorial Friday in the New York Times, cited Turkey’s cooperation with the U.S. dating back to the Cuban missile crisis and the Korean War as evidence of a long-standing partnership between the NATO allies. But he added that more recent disputes over a failed 2016 coup, the conflict in Syria and sanctions imposed this week against top Turkish officials and the country’s steel industry were straining that alliance to its breaking point.

“Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives,” Erdogan wrote. “Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies.” Continue reading

World War 3: Turkey THREATENS US as it calls Trump’s sanctions a ‘HOSTILE STANCE’

ctp_video, sanctions against turkey, us sanctions turkey, turkey sanctions, us sanctions, us treasury, andrew brunson, andrew brunson US, pastor US turkey, pastor andrew brunson wiki

Turkey called on the US administration to walk back from its hostile stance (Image: Getty)

 

TURKEY has issued a chilling warning to the US after the Trump administration sanctioned two Turkish officials for their roles in the arrest and detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson, inflaming tensions that were already simmering over a series of disagreements.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu claimed on Wednesday the extraordinary use of financial sanctions against Ankara, which is a US allied government, would not be left without retaliation as it constitutes a “hostile stance”. Continue reading

Europe Cannot Cope With Any Further Armed Conflict On The Continent

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/NATO%20(1).jpg

 

European leaders are not only unable to counteract the demographic crisis on the Old Continent, but are also losing ground in terms of defense. President Trump’s skepticism and reservation about the military ideas of European bureaucrats, Ankara’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Cyprus and Greece, and the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia highlight NATO’s weakness on the eve of its summit in Brussels.

Europe stands no chance if forced to face conflict on three fronts. Two of them are of conventional character: on the eastern flank, where there are continuous tensions with Russia, and in the Balkans near the border with Turkey. The third concerns the Mediterranean area, where young and strong men from Africa and Central Asia cross European borders with the support of a thousand people from the continent’s heartland. Europeans are also militarily involved in Afghanistan, Syria and take part in the growing conflict in Mali. Continue reading

Is Turkey Playing a Double Game with NATO?

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/pics/3390.jpg

Pictured: A Russian S-400 missile battery. (Image source: Vitaly Kuzmin/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • Why would Turkey first order a Russian defense system and then turn around and make a cooperation agreement with Europe for the same purpose?
  • This goes back to America’s apprehension that if Turkey uses the S-400s along with the U.S. F-35s, Russia could gain access to information about the aircraft’s sensitive technology.
  • If Turkey is playing a double game with NATO, let us hope that the United States does not fall prey to it.

In January, 2018 Turkey reportedly awarded an 18-month contract for a study on the development and production of a long-range air- and missile-defense system to France and Italy, showing — ostensibly — Turkey’s ongoing commitment to NATO. The study, contracted between the EUROSAM consortium and Turkey’s Aselsan and Roketsan companies, was agreed upon in Paris, on the sidelines of a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Continue reading