Washington, think again!
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a very tough statement to the United States, in the form of an ultimatum.
10 in August in the newspaper The New York Times published an article by the Turkish leader "What Turkey sees the causes of the crisis in relations with the United States." He accuses Washington of this material not only in bad faith and non-fulfillment of his allied obligations, but also in direct hostility.
The usual accusations of US involvement in the attempted coup in Turkey made in July 2016 and arming the PYD / YPG forces acting against the “Turkish people and Turkish security forces” were added to the “unwillingness of the US” to defend “NATO borders” ( there are the borders of Turkey) from DAISH (“Islamic State” is a terrorist organization banned in Russia).
At the same time, Erdogan points out that the United States could maintain allied relations with Turkey and strengthen friendship with it if they build cooperation on the basis of equality and respect for the interests of each other. However, it is not difficult to understand from the context of the article that the Turkish leader does not particularly hope for such a “correction” of American policy.
He also did not rule out the possibility that Ankara would be forced to change its foreign policy vector and look for new allies and friends, rather transparently hinting at Russia, China and Iran.
Finally, making the article look like an ultimatum, he warned that “Turkey has set a deadline for itself” after which, if the United States does not listen to Ankara, it “will take care of its own interests”.
As an example of such a “care”, he recalled how in the 1970-ies the Turkish army landed in Cyprus to prevent the “murder of ethnic Turks by Greek Cypriots”, despite the objections of the United States.
There is no doubt that in this way Erdogan threatens the Americans to renew the sweep of the north of Syria from Kurdish militants who are patronized by the United States. Giving also to understand that he expects to receive this, if not support, then, in any case, the tacit consent of Moscow and Tehran (most likely, it will be so).
This statement clearly indicates that the Turkish leader literally bit the bit, being beside himself with rage. The reasons for this are obvious.
First of all, it is the failure of the United States to agree on Manbij and some other places in northern Syria under their control. And where did they promise to ensure the withdrawal of Kurdish militants.
Actually, this is the main pain point for these two countries. The creation of a Kurdish entity in the north of Syria by the American protectorate in Ankara is viewed as a direct threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Everyone knows that the “united Kurdistan” is an important element of the American project “of a large Middle East, which involves a radical re-alignment of the borders and political map of the region.
And this question is so important for Turkey that if the Americans took into account their interests, she was ready even if she didn’t give up the requirements of issuing Fethullah Gülen, accused of organizing a coup, then at least not “pedal” this topic.
And at some point in Ankara they really decided that they managed to come to an agreement with the Americans, and the Rozhava project would be abandoned. However, it soon became known that in reality, the PYD / YPG militants are in no hurry to leave the Manbij area. Moreover, Turkish sources claim that the YPG formations operating in this enclave are actively involved in the intensification of the guerrilla war in Afrin occupied by the pro-Turkish forces.
There is no doubt that these events caused Erdogan’s outrage.
Another factor that aggravated tensions between the two countries was the decisions taken by the US authorities against Turkey, in particular, the sanctions against a number of Turkish ministers, taken because Protestant Pastor Andrew Brunson, a US citizen, was detained in Turkey by charges of supporting a terrorist organization. Erdogan, by the way, did not miss a chance to remind Washington that his actions are illogical, since members of the Turkish government, as is customary in democratic countries, cannot influence the decision of judicial bodies.
A number of others can be added to these two points. Such as pressure on the issue of acquiring C-400 or the intention to “throw” Ankara with F-35, despite the participation of the Turks in financing its developments.
At the same time, Erdogan is not at all interested in confrontation with the United States, and there is no doubt that he is sincere when he points out in the article that Ankara would like to continue friendship and cooperation with Washington, but only on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
However, this is precisely what the Americans are unable to offer them (as, indeed, the rest of the world). Moreover, they simply cannot “respect” any of the most important requests of Ankara. They cannot abandon the use of Kurdish militants, who, in fact, are their only pillar in Syria and the rationale for the American presence in this country. And the termination of their support will be for the United States not only a serious reputational, but also a heavy geopolitical loss. Their already not very strong position in the Middle East will become even more precarious.
Also, Washington will never go, despite the existing bilateral Turkish-American agreements on the extradition of the accused, to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, since it will now look like a surrender to Ankara, which is fraught with the loss of face in the eyes of the entire world community.
At the same time, it is categorically unacceptable for the United States to increase the confrontation with Turkey, especially its transition to the “hot phase,” which Erdogan hints at, drawing parallels with the Turkish occupation of Cyprus. Recall that the clashes with the participation of the Turkish and American military have already taken place.
So, almost a year ago, in September 2017 of the year, a representative of the headquarters of the pro-American coalition in Syria operating within the framework of Operation Unshakable Resolve, Colonel Ryan Dillon, reported about the fire contact of the US military operating in the Syrian territory controlled by the Kurds with pro-Turkish militants " Syrian Free Army "in the Manbij area.
The American officer said: "Our forces were indeed attacked and returned fire, and then redeployed to a safe place." Simply put, in the language of real events, the Americans had to retreat before the alliance of militants of the SSA and Turkish special forces, abandoning their positions.
The presence of Turkish troops in the ranks of the attacking militants is evidenced by the fact that the Americans were afraid to use against them Aviation and artillery, knowing full well that the Turkish "otvetka" will not slow itself down. And even a small “war” with a NATO ally, and even at its borders, was not and is not included in the US plans. Moreover, militarily, the superiority of the American contingent over Turkish troops in this theater is a big question.
That is, if Erdogan, remembering about Cyprus, will give his troops to attack, the American expeditionary forces will have to retreat to avoid war with an ally capable of leading to the collapse of NATO. Actually, for the same reason, the sanctions war with the Turks, calling into question the North Atlantic unity, is extremely undesirable for America.
No less serious prospect for the United States is the strengthening of Turkey’s cooperation with Russia, Iran and China, and then, God forbid, creating an alliance with them, which also Erdogan fears them.
As a result, there is every reason to believe that the speech of the Turkish president in the influential American edition will not just be noticed. There is every reason to believe that Washington will attempt to "agree." Rather, given that he can not offer the Turks anything that they need, he will try to cheat them. As has already been done with Manbij. But whether it will turn out again is a big question.
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