In Defiance of Putin: Has Turkey really invited US to join NATO?
21 May, 2015
In Defiance of Putin: Has Turkey really invited US to join NATO?
“We support the extension of NATO. Now we have four aspiring countries: Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Georgia. We wish the Alliance’s extension to be the main subject of the 2016 NATO Summit,” declared Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, at the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the NATO countries in Antalya.

Why does Ankara want to create hostility with Moscow by defending Georgia’s affiliation with NATO?

It’s difficult to imagine that the Minister of Foreign Affairs
made such a statement without first clearing it through Prime Minister Davutoğlu and President Erdogan. This, for all intents and purposes, means that by expressing the desire to see Georgia among the ranks of NATO countries, the Turkish government is openly confronting Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
The main obstacle for the prospect of Georgia’s membership in the Alliance is active objection to it by the Russian government. With such a backdrop to the events, the unexpected statement by Turkish Foreign Minister begs a question: Why does Ankara want to create hosti
geotv.gelity with Moscow by defending Georgia’s affiliation with NATO? Moreover, over the recent years close relations between Turkey and Russia were quite evident, much to the chagrin of the U.S.
It might be that by demanding quickening of Georgia’s affiliation with NATO, Ankara is trying to turn the tables on Russia and its president. The reason for this is most likely his visit to Yerevan on April 24, during which he assessed the 100-year-old tragic events that befell the Armenians as “genocide.”
Retaliatory diplomatic actions of Ankara didn’t end at this. Turkish government didn’t recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia, but refrained from open condemnation of the Kremlin’s aggressive deeds nevertheless. Moreover, despite the Ukrainian government banning it, Turkish ships keep entering the annexed Crimea’s ports; same goes of ports of occupied Sokhumi.
After President Putin voiced his opinion in Yerevan, different branches of the Turkish government began to more actively protest against the facts of violation of the Crimean Tatars’ rights by the geotv.geRussian Special Forces in the annexed Crimea. Now they express solidarity with Ukraine in its fight for territorial integrity.
“In case of necessity Turkey will reconsider diplomatic relations with Russia and even recall the Ambassador,” declared Erdogan on May 8 during his speech in Ankara. This is another indication that Turkey hasn’t forgiven the President of Russia for his recognition of the “genocide” made one month ago in Yerevan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey has even published a rather barbed official statement: “Considering the fact that over the past centuries Russia was responsible for mass killings and exiles in the Caucasus, Middle East and Eastern Europe, we think that Moscow should know better what genocide and its legal dimensions are.”
It’s difficult not to share the Turkish diplomats’ statements. To say the least, we remember quite well what the Russian authorities did in 1992-93 in Abkhazia and in 2008 in the Tskhinvali region. Photos taken in that period clearly depict burnt Georgian villages and remnants of Georgian homes – prime examples of ethnic cleansing.
It seems that by defending the interests of small Armenia, Vladimir Putin has grossly miscalculated, making a much larger Turkey palpably hostile. This hardly fits within the strategic interests of Russia; moreover, if we recall that by making friends with Turkey in the recent years the Kremlin had created a rift between Turkey and NATO, now it turns out that Mr. Putin has fixed the problem by promptly shooting himself in the foot.
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