Har Tyrkia slått inn på en utenrikspolitisk kurs som vil gjøre det umulig å forbli medlem av NATO? Det gjelder ikke bare forholdet til Midtøsten, men også Russland, som AKP-regjeringen står på god fot med.
Det skriver David Schenkar Institute for Neas East Policy i Washington:
Recent developments suggest that while Turkey’s military leadership remains committed to the state’s secular, Western orientation and the defining principles of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the civilian Islamist government led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) seems to have different ideas. Ankara is increasingly pursuing illiberal policies at home, for instance by attacking independent media, while aligning itself with militant, anti-western Middle East regimes abroad.
Ankara is simultaneously moving closer to the mullocracy in Tehran, even though the Islamic Republic is undermining stability in Afghanistan and Iraq by providing insurgents in both countries with explosives that are killing NATO and U.S. soldiers. The Iranian regime is also threatening to annihilate Israel, the very state Turkey is now distancing itself from. And yet Turkey and Iran have signed several security cooperation agreements over the past few years, and just two months ago, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted he would oppose sanctions against Iran, saying he «firmly believe[d] that the international community’s concern over Iran’s nuclear program should be eased.» This past June, Turkish President Abdullah Gul was among the first to call Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to congratulate him on his fraudulent re-election.
As Ankara’s politics shift, Turkey’s willingness to take on politically difficult NATO missions could also diminish, bringing into question the commitment to «collective defense.» While Turkey has deployed troops to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, it’s unclear that Ankara would support NATO efforts to stem Russian pressure westward in Latvia or Lithuania. Judging from Turkey’s equivocal position on Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia, it seems unlikely that Turkey today would even consent to training missions in the Baltic States. Justifying his tilt toward Moscow, Mr. Erdogan said «we have an important trade volume [with Russia]. We would act in line with what Turkey’s national interests require.»
While Ankara’s politics have changed, the military’s pro-Western disposition reportedly has not. But over the past decade, the dynamics between the politicians and the general staff have been transformed. For better or worse, Western pressures have compelled the Turkish military to remain in the barracks, and refrain from interfering in political developments. Today, the Turkish military can do little but watch as the secular, democratic, pro-Western republic established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the early 1900s is undermined.
Schenker spør: vil man tørre å selge Joint Srike Fighter til Tyrkia i 2014?
A NATO Without Turkey?
Ankara’s Islamist government is turning away from the Western alliance.