Comment | The case of Turkey explodes in NATO


On the eve of the meeting of Atlantic defense ministers scheduled for tomorrow, a Turkish case explodes in NATO. Ankara blocks the defense plan for the Baltic States and Poland, placing the Alliance’s political support for its military campaign against the Kurds in Syria as a condition of the go-ahead. Among other things, the Turkish government demands that the PYD and YPG groups be declared terrorist organizations. A claim that is rejected by many member countries.

The Anatolian veto is not new. But at the 70-year NATO summit in London in December, Ankara had appeared more conciliatory. To the point that the secretary of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, had announced that there was an agreement on the strengthening of the GRP, the graduated response plans launched in 2015 to respond to requests from Poles and Baltics, worried by the aggressiveness of Russia. To be operational, a unanimous vote by the member countries of the Pact is still necessary.

Now Erdogan has second thoughts: Ankara has taken Baltic and Polish hostage, until strapper concessions on the Kurds, mixing two completely separate issues, says an Atlantic source. If on a concrete level the Turkish veto does not leave the Baltic States and Poland without deterrence towards Russia, the GRPs are already in operation in the original structure, on the devastating political and symbolic one. Not only because it introduces another element of discord within the Alliance and underlines the ambiguity of the Trump Administration, which by leaving the field free to the Turks in Syria has in fact marked the fate of the Kurdish fighters. But also because it offers plastically the image of a Sultan determined to play the neo-Ottoman hegemonic game and who does not hesitate to block an unwelcome plan for Putin, to whom he entwined in a complex competition / collaboration relationship in Syria and especially in Libya.

June 15, 2020, 9:04 pm – modified June 15, 2020 | 21:04

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