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Turkey - Geopolitical & Geostrategic.

This is a discussion on Turkey - Geopolitical & Geostrategic. within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Turkey appears to be making a real sport annoying its erstwhile allies in NATO and the EU. The recent purges ...


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Old April 3rd, 2017   #1
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Turkey - Geopolitical & Geostrategic.

Turkey appears to be making a real sport annoying its erstwhile allies in NATO and the EU. The recent purges appear to have gutted the military, judiciary, public service, independent media and academia within the country. By all appearances it is heading towards a one party state religious based dictatorship. This thread is for the wider issues of geopolitical and / or geostrategic natures that recent events in Turkey are having. As usual the forum rules apply and Moderators will be monitoring this thread.
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Old April 3rd, 2017   #2
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It appears that the US and Turkey are drifting apart.
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Like a marriage held together for the sake of the kids, the U.S. and Turkey keep saying nice things in public, while privately fuming and slowly drifting apart.
Why the Pentagon doesn't want Turkey's help in Syria
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Old April 3rd, 2017   #3
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On April 16th there will be a constitutional referendum that will make Erdogan all-powerful if it passes, reducing parliamentary powers. It is crazy how popular Erdogan is, even after constantly making mistakes and screwing up everything he touches. I am referring to foreign relations, the kurdish problem, turkish meddling in the syrian civil war, terrorist attacks, the purges ...

Everything seems so unstable over there. What is Erdogan's stance on the supposed upcoming iraqi kurdish referendum for autonomy?
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Old April 3rd, 2017   #4
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One thing I've wondered about as I've watched the growing rift between Turkey and the west is the wisdom/ fate of their proposed F35 aircraft purchase (considered from the West's point of view).

I can only imagine that something like this, full of the latest technology, should only be in the hands of the most trusted allies. I'm just not sure that Turkey any longer matches this description (or can't be relied on to continue to do so into the future) and I'm not sure how you can have fully reliable protocols that protect the technology without that underlying trust.
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Old April 3rd, 2017   #5
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It is crazy how popular Erdogan is, even after constantly making mistakes and screwing up everything he touches.
There was a (lightweight) doco on TV last night last night which provided some insight into that.

He is pandering to the majority rural religious underclass, giving them a degree of previously unknown economic prosperity and indeed supposedly managing an economic boom. How he is doing this at a time when their currency is tanked and their main export industry - tourism - is in very deep recession, I don't know and wasn't clear.

In many respects, it seems to me like the early days of the Venezuelan Socialist Revolution under Chavez - and we all know how well that ended both politically and economically.

[/QUOTE]Everything seems so unstable over there. What is Erdogan's stance on the supposed upcoming iraqi kurdish referendum for autonomy?[/QUOTE]

An autonomous Kurdish state has always been a Turkish nightmare
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Old April 3rd, 2017   #6
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There was a (lightweight) doco on TV last night last night which provided some insight into that.

He is pandering to the majority rural religious underclass,
Since most Turks are urban nowadays (73% in 2015 according to the World Bank & every other reputable source of numbers gives something similar) I think the 'rural' is incorrect. A lot of Erdogan's support comes from places like Kayseri - a manufacturing city of a million or so people, deep in the Anatolian interior. Religiously & socially conservative, but not exactly rural. The city has 80% of the population of the province. Erdogan got 66% of the vote in 2014.
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Old April 3rd, 2017   #7
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Since most Turks are urban nowadays (73% in 2015 according to the World Bank & every other reputable source of numbers gives something similar) I think the 'rural' is incorrect. A lot of Erdogan's support comes from places like Kayseri - a manufacturing city of a million or so people, deep in the Anatolian interior. Religiously & socially conservative, but not exactly rural. The city has 80% of the population of the province. Erdogan got 66% of the vote in 2014.
Fair enough. Rural may have been an oversimplification.

There were a couple of other interesting points came out of the show (and here again, one does have to be careful making broad generalizations out of individual interviews).

According to one people smuggler interviewed, the close down of the people smuggling into Greece has occurred, not because of the deal (and monetary payment) between Germany and Turkey, but because of the close of the Macedonian border. Essentially, if they can't get through to the more prosperous western/ northern European countries, they're not interested in paying for the trip. Staying in Turkey is regarded as better.

That does accord with the Australian experience of the benefit of taking the candy off the table, even if it does some damage to the Eurocrats' dream of a unified Europe.

The other came from a sequence showing what Turkey is doing to settle many/ some Syrian refugees on a seemingly permanent basis. These people showed considerable gratitude to Erdogan. There was a hint that this might be a way for him to bolster his majority; although the question of the Turkish citizenship and voting rules wasn't explored..
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Old April 4th, 2017   #8
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One thing I've wondered about as I've watched the growing rift between Turkey and the west is the wisdom/ fate of their proposed F35 aircraft purchase (considered from the West's point of view).

I can only imagine that something like this, full of the latest technology, should only be in the hands of the most trusted allies. I'm just not sure that Turkey any longer matches this description (or can't be relied on to continue to do so into the future) and I'm not sure how you can have fully reliable protocols that protect the technology without that underlying trust.
It is easy to imagine a future situation where Turkey comes under heavy sanctions, whether it is because of a crackdown on turkish kurds, or a refusal to withdraw from Syria after the conflict has deescalated, or renewed operations against syrian kurds, or another coup happening or another round or internal purges and turning into a dictatorship after he wins the referendum etc etc ...

There are so many scenarios where a future Turkey may be under a weapons embargo, heavy sanctions, suspended from NATO even. Then Erdogan or whoever is in charge may compromise the F-35 to the russian or chinese. Not even their military can be trusted, maybe the compromise will be due to someone defecting.

The F-35 is the cornerstone of western air power and they will trust the turks with it?
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Old April 4th, 2017   #9
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It is easy to imagine a future situation where Turkey comes under heavy sanctions, whether it is because of a crackdown on turkish kurds, or a refusal to withdraw from Syria after the conflict has deescalated, or renewed operations against syrian kurds, or another coup happening or another round or internal purges and turning into a dictatorship after he wins the referendum etc etc ...

There are so many scenarios where a future Turkey may be under a weapons embargo, heavy sanctions, suspended from NATO even. Then Erdogan or whoever is in charge may compromise the F-35 to the russian or chinese. Not even their military can be trusted, maybe the compromise will be due to someone defecting.

The F-35 is the cornerstone of western air power and they will trust the turks with it?
There are other nationalities besides the Turks who aren't considered by some trustworthy either. So I think that you are letting nationalistic biases sneak in there. However I do agree with the broad argument that Erdogans Turkey is becoming more problematic and the F-35 maybe a system too far security wise, because of the instability within and unreliability of the Turkish political system at the present point in time.

On another point Erdogan is again calling the Europeans Nazis and fascists with his latest speech. Erdogan says Turks in Europe should defy 'grandchildren of Nazism'. He seems to think that bullying and bellicose statements will get the EU to adhere to his wishes.
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Old April 4th, 2017   #10
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On another point Erdogan is again calling the Europeans Nazis and fascists with his latest speech. Erdogan says Turks in Europe should defy 'grandchildren of Nazism'. He seems to think that bullying and bellicose statements will get the EU to adhere to his wishes.
he doesn't appear to have drawn the parallel that if european political activists dropped into turkey and started to tell expat euros how to vote in some respective national election that he would be going ballistic over a transnational political interference and intrusion....
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Old April 4th, 2017   #11
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he doesn't appear to have drawn the parallel that if european political activists dropped into turkey and started to tell expat euros how to vote in some respective national election that he would be going ballistic over a transnational political interference and intrusion....
You are expecting logic from him
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Old April 4th, 2017   #12
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or a refusal to withdraw from Syria after the conflict has deescalated
It seems that Syria will be effectively partitioned between an Assadist Russo-Iranian side, a northern Turkish side, and a pro-US Kurdish side. The Turks are already building bases in northern Syria. Ignore the photo of the Russian soldier next to the destroyed Shilka, and the video at the bottom.

Турция разворачивает военные базы в северной Сирии - Colonel Cassad
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Old April 5th, 2017   #13
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One thing I've wondered about as I've watched the growing rift between Turkey and the west is the wisdom/ fate of their proposed F35 aircraft purchase (considered from the West's point of view).

I can only imagine that something like this, full of the latest technology, should only be in the hands of the most trusted allies. I'm just not sure that Turkey any longer matches this description (or can't be relied on to continue to do so into the future) and I'm not sure how you can have fully reliable protocols that protect the technology without that underlying trust.
Turkey's order for F-35s should be terminated. Same for the F135 engine service centre. Allowing state of the art technology to a soon to be enemy is beyond stupid. Might as well sell to the Russians or Chinese as to Erdogan and his followers.
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Old April 6th, 2017   #14
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So let me get this straight:
  • Russia, a country that really wants a warm water port, invades Crimea. To get from the Crimean Naval base to the Mediterranean you have to go through the Bosporous
  • Russia works with Assad to get military bases in Syria.
  • Russia works with Iran to support Assad and mutually benefit their economies.
  • Russia works with the Kurdish PKK and YPG.
  • Russia propagandizes Europe to grow anti-EU and anti-NATO sentiment.
Erdogan sees this and thinks something like, 'This is the right time to antagonize European voters, we need more pro-Russia, anti-Turkey leaders in Europe.'
Is he seriously this stupid?
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Old April 7th, 2017   #15
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No, he is just an emerging dictator doing what he feels he needs to do to consolidate his rule. Not really much different than most of the ME neighbourhood.
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