In a bid to remove Kurdish units along its Syrian border, NATO-member Turkey is pressuring the alliance to help politically in its fight against the YPG, which Ankara considers an offshoot of the PKK, a declared-terrorist group.
To force compliance with its wishes, Turkey is blackmailing NATO, holding up a defense plan for the northern Baltic states in a move that could be seen as collision with the Russian Federation, which possibly has eyes on the territory, as part of the former Soviet Union. Moscow has overseen a major buildup of Russian military capability, and aggressive troop movements in the region over the last decade, worrying NATO leadership and forcing discussions of how to defend the area from possible Russian aggression.
Turkey has recently moved close to Russian President Vladimir Putin under Turkish President Recep Erdogan, who has in essence become an Islamist dictator of the NATO member, destroying Turkey’s previous secular orientation under Kemal Ataturk who worried about a return of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey is refusing to back a NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland until the alliance offers Ankara more political support for its fight against Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria, four senior alliance sources said, reported Reuters.
Ankara has told its NATO envoy not to sign off on the plan and is taking a tough line in meetings and in private conversations, demanding the alliance recognize the YPG as terrorists in the formal wording, the sources said.
“They (the Turks) are taking eastern Europeans hostage, blocking approval of this military planning until they get concessions,” one of the diplomatic sources told Reuters.
Why is Turkey in NATO again?
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