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Turkey Blackmails NATO In Baltics To Help It Fight Syrian Kurds — Russian Collusion?

Turkey Blackmails NATO In Baltics To Help It Fight Syrian Kurds
Protest in London against Turkish military and war against Kurdish people in Syria
Image by
David Holt

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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2 comments

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Steve in Missouri December 2, 2019 at 11:42 pm

Is NATO on the verge of breakup?
The core mission of NATO at inception was to deter a Russian invasion of Western Europe, but it seems to be having more difficulty defining the core mission.
Turkey has its own problem with the porous Syrian border and YPG elements.
To deny Turkey’s defense against terrorist elements in the YPG, which also apparently has some of the same same objectives as the PPK would be a disregard of the NATO charter.
YPG did battle ISIS, doing so with the hope that it would be able to develop an autonomous state.
It appears negotiations have broken down and military action is being resorted to, in order to settle differences.
That has happened at the Turkish/Syrian border with Turkey setting up a security zone.
If Syria regains control of the border and prevents cross border attacks by terrorist elements, Turkey may withdraw from the security zone.
That remains to be seen.
The US is caught in the middle in the Turkish/Syria border and withdrawing American troops from the border zone is probably the only action that the US can take, since it certainly shouldn’t be involved in combat with Turkish forces.
Something’s got to give and most likely it will be the Turkish border issue.
NATO will need to comply with Turkish demands on its border issue or the Baltic defenses will be weakened to such a degree that it would invite Russian aggression, which would take conflict in Europe to a much higher level with direct conflict with Russia.
Doesn’t seem to be much of an option at this point.

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Walkin O'Shea December 4, 2019 at 6:36 pm

Time to oust Turkey from NATO if there is any chance for the organization to continue and flourish. Turkey is a country which has shown a history of self-aggrandizement and self-centeredness. Now Recep Erdogan chooses to push his way around NATO by trying to work both ends against the middle. (cozying up to Russia, and at the same time pushing his demands of NATO) It’s become a win/win situation for Turkey. NATO feels the pressure to keep Turkey within the fold to protect its south and eastern flank, at the same time Russia needs Turkey’s money and pressure on NATO to work it’s magic in the Baltic and Poland. Turkey has suddenly been given a vital role within NATO without their expecting it and now they’re capitalizing. Time for them to go.

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