Readers will have to be patient, along with me, today as I attempt to post while a little gremlin is infesting my Blog. This little gremlin makes posting very difficult by slowing it down, refusing to edit/correct and then publishing when I have not pressed "Publish". Every once in a while this petty annoyance happens...(as I say, "You get what you pay for"...and in this case...Blogger is "free") then he or she goes a way for a while...no doubt to bother some other Google Blogger.
I am trying to post about a geopolitical issue we've all been watching for well over a year now...the Turkish/NATO stand off. In early January of 2017, the Duran posted a report about Erdogan being "furious" with NATO/US because the organization ignored his request for assistance in fighting ISIS near the northern Syrian city of Al-Bab. Here is a snippet from that report and I will have thoughts and comments to follow:
"Furious Turkish government responds to US failure to provide Turkish troops fighting ISIS near Al-Bab with air support by for the first time publicly calling into question US use of Incirlik Air Base
At the peak of the optimism about the Russian-Turkish rapprochement in the summer rumours circulated of Turkey expelling the US from Incirlik air base in Turkey.
.Incirlik is the single most important US and NATO air base in the east Mediterranean region. Built by US engineers in the 1950s with a 3,000 metre concrete runway, there are 5,000 US personnel permanently stationed there, in a base equipped with 57 hardened aircraft shelters and which stores US tactical nuclear missiles.
Russia’s Khmeimim air base is by comparison a hurriedly improvised affair using the 2,800 metre asphalt runway of a former civilian airport, which is less suitable for high performance aircraft such as supersonic fighters and (especially) bombers since their high engine heat can cause the asphalt to melt.
Incirlik was a key US asset during the Cold War, but it has also been used by the US to project its air power into places like Iraq and Lebanon. It is a key US and NATO strategic asset, and though it is the US air force which dominates the base, the British, German and Turkish air forces also operate from there'
Then there's the ongoing spate of mysterious terror bombings in Turkey. Who is responsible for these "Gladio"-style attacks on the ordinary citizens of Turkey? We know that NATO was behind the historical Gladio program....and it is natural to look towards NATO or some of its Israllies as the culprits in this reign of terror. Some folks suspect the Kurds...but that begs the question...who is behind the Kurds in their longstanding effort to carve a homeland out of a swath of land that encompasses the northern parts of Syria, and Iraq...along with the southern tip of Turkey. Turkey has always regarded the Kurdish threat as existential. If Turkey even thinks that NATO is not supportive enough in their conflict with the Kurds...or the destabilizing proxy army ISIS...then sooner or later they will have to take drastic steps in self-defense.
Also, since the defeat of the Gulen coupmeisters last year, Turkey has been embroiled in a diplomatic war with neighbouring Greece. Greece, let me remind my readers is also a NATO member. Greece is harbouring eight Turkish soldiers who fled there in a helicopter in the hours following the defeat of the coup. Turkey has formally requested the soldiers' extradition but Greece has so far refused. Turkey has also requested the extradition of alleged coup leader and long time CIA asset Gulen from the US itself. This request has also thus far been refused. Do these NATO "partners" believe that Turkey will just forget about such a slap in the face of Turkish sovereignty? I don't think so. So here we have a situation where TWO NATO countries...supposed allies of Turkey....have refused to extradite individuals that Turkey believes are existential threats. When has this happened before? I would submit, NEVER.
Strike Three is coming up to bat.
In this morning's news, we learn that yet another NATO member is allegedly harbouring coup members.
Some 40 Turkish military service personnel, mostly high-ranking ones, who were stationed at the facilities of NATO in Germany have applied for asylum in the European country, German media report.
According to reports by the German public TV chain ARD and the Der Spiegel weekly news magazine on Saturday, citing unnamed sources, the military servicemen had been relieved from their duties earlier by Ankara on suspicions of having alleged roles in the mid-July failed military coup back in their home country against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Der Spiegel quoted some unnamed officials from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior as saying that the case was treated as all others.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Stephan Mayer, a senior member of the Christian Social Union (CSU) political party and spokesman for Home Affairs of CSU and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) parliamentary group, said that it was no doubt that Berlin could not extradite these soldiers since “they would land in jail immediately” upon their arrival in Turkey.
Furthermore, legislator Norbert Rottgen, a top CDU member and the chairman of the Bundestag's Committee on Foreign Affairs, also strongly asserted that political considerations should not play any role in the asylum procedure.
This is reportedly the second time a group of Turkish troops request asylum in Germany. Back in November, some four months after the botched putsch, several other Turkish military personnel, who worked at the NATO headquarters in the Palatinate of Ramstein, asked for asylum. NATO at the time did not specify the exact number of the Turkish servicemen.
In both incidents NATO officials declined to comment on the asylum cases.
A day after the attempted coup, Greek authorities reported that eight Turkish military personnel had landed in northeastern Greece by a military chopper, requesting asylum. Ankara later strongly urged Athens, for a number of times, to send the soldiers back to Turkey, alleging that they were involved in the coup and should face prosecution upon....
So there you have it, folks. In summary, NATO has a big military base in Turkey...from which it dominates the Middle East and has fomented several wars thereon...yet it won't use the base to help Turkey fight its enemies. Three NATO countries have refused Turkey's request to extradite Gulen coup members. What is Turkey supposed to do? Sit on its hands? As we all know, Turkey has been given some very interesting options by none other than Russia. And, lest we forget...unlike the NATO countries...Russia did hurry to the aid of Turkey/Erdogan during the coup and, rumour has it, even saved his sorry @$$ by ferrying him out of danger and harbouring him at their base in Syria.
With regard to NATO members US, Greece and Germany...as the old saying goes..."With friends like this...who needs enemies?"