Miscalculations of the Washington-Tel Aviv-Berlin alliance seem to have washed against the wall of “Ankara-Moscow-Tehran”. This notion is uttered by leaders, bureaucrats, the media and various experts of the states in question. These views can also be interpreted as a sign of a new interventionist process built on the concept of “vengeance” and “dyspepsia”.
In this respect, the speech of Sigmar Gabriel (Foreign Minister of Germany) on Tuesday at the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum, which discussed the future scenarios of international politics is quite remarkable. The German Minister underlined that the emergence of a “New World Order” under the influence of Iran, Russia and Turkey had gained momentum and the Sochi Summit held on 22nd of November symbolised the “rise of ancient empires”.
Gabriel’s likening of the “Sochi Order” to the Yalta process is a justified analogy. Furthermore, the results of a recent study by US-based Pew Research Center on the perception of states and influence of leaders in the Middle East support this fact.
The Fear of Having Turkey Return to its Ancestral History!
The study carried out by Pew materialises Turkey as the most influential country, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is seen as the most favourable leader in the region. Iran trails in second place. The study furthermore notes that the Turkish-Russian-Iranian triad stands out as three countries other than the US with increased influence in the region. Hence the fear of the West is well-grounded.
Beyond doubt, Gabriel with his remarks is expostulating the West to be “cautious and aware” of Turkey’s rising influence. In fact, Gabriel is one of the first of those who envisage the difficulties that the EU/West would face following a spat with Turkey. With these remarks, it could be said that Gabriel is representing the rational-strategic perception of the West.
Nathalie Tocci, director of the Rome-based Institute for International Relations, who has been a special adviser to Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of EU’s Foreign Relations and Security Policy, is also among those concerned about the future of the West. Tocci; noting that Turkish-EU relations are rock-bottom stresses the danger of “Turkey losing itself” and indicates that this case could be reversed by ameliorating the Customs Union as a first step.
The “Johnson Understanding” has Returned!
At this point, the article by Bloomberg dubbed “Whether it is a conspiracy or not, Turkey’s relations with the West is at risk” is also remarkable. The article notes that; “The detachment of relations with NATO will lead to mislaying the second biggest army in the alliance, while Turkey will have to struggle alone with Russia, Iran and other regional competitors”.
This determination to a great extent reveals the consternation in question. In Western perspective, no alternative could fill the void created by Turkey. The “GMEP Kurdistan” envisioned to meet this gap has been discomposed. Hence by fair means or foul, there is an attempt to attain Turkey. In doing so, the West does not hesitate to mention that if Turkey leaves the bloc, it would have to “face and fight Russia and Iran companionless” and puts forth a threat similar to Johnson’s letter.
Of course, these new Johnson’s do not only include Bloomberg experts. For instance, former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen is one of these names. Rasmussen highlights that “Turkey must be concerned about its deteriorating relationship with the US” and points out that “the US which has a significant weight at NATO is providing Turkey with unrivalled security”.
In reality what bothers Rasmussen is the adversities that NATO would face without Turkey. Hence he and many other experts feel the need to portray how NATO would look and mean if Turkey abandoned the alliance. Substantially, Rasmussen admits that if Turkey opts out, the alliance could be dissolved and makes following asseverations to avoid such occurrence:
“We are witnessing Russia, Iran and Turkey concurring to discuss the contentions in the Middle East and especially the issue in Syria and the Kurds. There is a great concern in the region, especially in the Arabian Gulf state due to these developments and the shift in the balance of power in the region. This process has the potential cause instability, as well as the possibility of division within NATO and hence should be prevented”.
The last sentence is quite significant in regards to understanding who this contingency shall be prevented.
Donald Trump by covertly aiming Turkey remarked that; “There is a country which is not paying its bills and do you know with whom this country is flirting? Russia!. This country is not settling its dues and is becoming more aggressive. Will we enter a third World War for a country that fails to reimburse?”
On the other hand on 14th of December 2017, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar will regale Gen. Osman Ghanimi, the Chief of General Staff of Iraq as well as EUCOM Commander Gen. Curtis M. Scaparroti and CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph L. Votel.
It is also worth nothing President Putin surprise visit to Turkey, just before the planned meeting with US commanders and his elucidation on the S-400’s and the operation in Afrin.
This unplanned meeting indeed gives the message that Russia will “stick by” Turkey. Furthermore, Turkey and Russia are aware that the United States will not act accordingly in Syria and will try all possible aspects to confront Turkey.
In fact, Heather Nauert; spokesperson of the State Department with his comments acknowledges this truth. Following the decision by Vladimir Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Syria, Nauert expressed that; “Russia might have finished its business in Syria. However, the US is still got business to do on the ground”.
What could this unfinished business be?