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No From NATO? Alliance Has ‘No Reason to Back Up Turkey’

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The mere hope that NATO membership could give Turkey carte blanche to do anything it wants is profoundly wrong; even though the alliance has publicly supported Erdogan’s version of how the downing of the Russian bomber happened, its rhetoric in private could be the polar opposite, according to Czech geopolitical reporter Jakub Mareš.

“If Erdogan hoped that NATO membership is a carte blanche, which allows him to do anything, it is profoundly wrong,” reads Jakub Mareš’s post on the geopolitical website Blog.Respect.

The NATO symbol and flags of the NATO nations outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Sunday, March 2, 2014

After the attacks in Paris, he adds, the policy of France and NATO towards Russia and its anti-ISIL campaign in Syria has changed. Now they understand that they need Russia to solve the Syrian crisis.On the other hand, the reporter says Turkey’s policy in Syria under Erdogan is “quite a thorn in the heel”; partly because of its brisk trade with the Islamic State.

However, for NATO, Turkey is an absolutely indispensable member state because of its control of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, but Turkey’s regional policy directly conflicts with that of the other members. One can only assume that regardless of its public support for Erdogan’s account of the shooting down of the Russian Su-24, its comments in private may be the polar opposite.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks and gestures after talks with Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, in Podgorica, Montenegro, Thursday, June 11, 2015

Diplomatically, the Turkish move did not delight anyone, the blogger adds, noting that the alliance does not have any specific reasons to vehemently back up Ankara.If Turkey’s final goal was geopolitical – to prevent the formation of a coalition against ISIL and the Syrian situation from being solved, primarily due to its own interests in the region – it will now have to reckon with renewed efforts to build a coalition, mainly from Russia and France.

The whole situation in the Middle East is deteriorating significantly, and the risk of further escalation is quite high. However, for Russia, it is now much easier to support Assad’s government and Syrian Army forces on the ground, the author states.