Including only the most relevant information. The rift is a chasm. And has been for a good long while now
However, the standoff has also fueled a deepening divide between the country and the West, as Erdogan regularly accuses the US of supporting the Marxist PKK. Last year, he blasted President Joe Biden’s White House as being ‘behind’ the militant Kurdish group after it executed 13 Turkish hostages in Iraq, summoning Washington’s ambassador over the incident.
Turkey’s accusation is valid.
‘A lot of people in Turkey do feel that Western powers are out to crush their country, peel off its territory and destroy it as a great power,’ Professor Lisel Hintz, an expert on Eurasian politics at Johns Hopkins University, told The Spectator. ‘And the behaviour of the EU in arming Kurdish groups in Syria adds to that sense.’
Western powers are out to crush Turkey. And peel off it’s territory. And destroy it as a regional power. All correct. All obvious.
American officials have defended military and political support for the Kurds on the basis that they were one of the most effective forces fighting both ISIS and the brutal government of Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad. Ankara has repeatedly argued that same support is being used to perpetrate terror attacks on its soil. Sunday’s Istiklal bombing has only intensified that rhetoric, and drawn more of America’s partners into the fierce row. Security chief Soylu claims that, had the alleged bomber not been apprehended, she and her co-conspirators would have been smuggled to safety in neighbouring Greece.
The Kurds never fought ISIS. That’s ridiculous. At my censored site I’d covered reports, yes, reports, that the Kurds and ISIS cooperated.
As for Greece? After the coup attempt some of the plotters fled to Greece. There is a precedent.
Tensions between the two countries have skyrocketed in recent months, with Ankara insisting that US hardware is being used by Athens in its ‘occupation’ of contested islands in the Aegean Sea. Turkish warplanes have repeatedly violated their neighbour’s airspace, while their commanders lodged a protest after an armed Greek anti-air launcher locked on to one of their jets. Despite the fact both are Nato members, analysts say the prospect of a serious incident is high. Turkish politicians and the media frequently claim their nation is being targeted by a Western coalition that wants to see it weakened and broken up.
There are some recent reports here touching on the Turkish/Greek tensions. Inflamed by the US of course.
At the same time, an emboldened Erdogan is increasingly finding himself on the opposite side of other conflicts to the US and its allies. It has stepped up its presence in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus, while refusing to impose sanctions on Russian oil and gas. Over the summer, Ankara threatened to veto the applications of Sweden and Finland to join Nato unless they took ‘concrete steps’ to extradite alleged Kurdish terrorists living there back to Turkey to face trial. Using this leverage he secured a deal, despite fears they would be treated unfairly.
The agreement looks to be a dead end deal. Sweden and Finland are not going to fulfill it.
‘America has been killing people by abandoning them from the moment the plane took off as they escaped from Afghanistan,’ Soylu said at the opening of a school named after a Turkish naval officer ‘martyred’ in Syria on Sunday, hours before the blast. ‘They said they would bring democracy to Iraq, peace to Afghanistan. But the world sees these things for what they are.’