By George Ades – Turkey and Erdogan in particular are currently being viewed as the “champions” against the US, its western minions and Israel, by people with very short memories, little knowledge of history, current political developments and the circumstances that have led Erdogan’s Turkey to the uncomfortable position it finds itself in today.
The intensifying spat between the US and Turkey, has prompted Washington to consider the lifting of the “arms embargo” it imposed on Cyprus in 1987.
The embargo was justified by Washington as a way to encourage the two communities on the island to find a peaceful solution to their “bi-communal problem”, while the Turkish occupying forces on the island (that outnumber the Cypriot National Guard by more than 4-1) were allowed to deploy as many American weapons as they wished.
There is no “bi-communal problem” on Cyprus, what there is, is a problem of illegal invasion/occupation by a third country, member of NATO, directly aided and abetted by the US and the U.K.
Now Washington wants to turn Cyprus into a “first line country” to safeguard, as always, its own interests.
It was US geopolitical interests that benefited and directly aided Turkey in the illegal invasion/occupation of the island of Cyprus and US geopolitical interests may, under the right circumstances, undo the wrong that was done to the islanders 44 years ago.
Do these changing interests of the US, make that country an ally of Cyprus? Is there anything in US actions that can be considered good or righteous?
The answer to that is a resounding “absolutely not.” Cyprus once again will become the pawn in American “games”; it may benefit from the changing political climate, but it is certainly not gaining a new friend in the US. No protector of the islanders’ interests, no guardian of international law. Cyprus has always been and will remain the island in the middle of the games the “big boys” play and the fate of its people is of little concern to them.
Erdogan recently boasted that Turkey, “despite US objections”, invaded and occupied Cyprus, however, the facts (from declassified State Department documents) tell a different tale.
“An invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, would not harm US interests.”- Henry Kissinger’s telegram to the US Ambassador to Ankara (July 1974, the month and year of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus)
This is what Erdogan calls “US objections”, I call it a “US green light” to a war crime they could have prevented with just a few words, no military action would have been required to do so.
Not too long ago, Turkey was providing safe passage to ISIS terrorists killing Syrians through its territory. On the behest of the US, it established training camps for terrorists, armed them, hospitalised them when they were wounded, provided R&R facilities for the weary terrorist on its soil, purchased the oil ISIS stole from Syria and Iraq and distributed it around the world. It shot down a Russian jet over Syria and attempted to bring the US and NATO into a direct military confrontation with Russia, Erdogan demanded that Assad must go, still does although in milder tones. Erdogan rejoiced when the passenger jet carrying Russian tourists in Egypt became the target of a terrorist attack killing all on board, since his “brethren” (ISIS terrorists) were being bombed by Russians. He boasted that Turkey….. with its allies could conquer Russia within 6 days.
When Erdogan, in the usual manner of Turkish diplomacy, attempted to extract even more concessions from the west, he encountered not the run of the mill American President, but one who is equally pig-headed and egocentric as he is. That was the turning point that led us to what we are currently witnessing.
It is circumstances that have led Erdogan and Turkey into this uncharted territory it finds itself today. No deliberate plan by the Sultan for a change of direction. He didn’t suddenly decide that he would break away from the “bad guys” and join the “good guys.”
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to proclaim him your champion. His fiery rhetoric against Israel is nothing more than hot air. Bilateral trade between Turkey and Israel is in the billions of dollars and increasing, the Turkish national carrier still has 9 scheduled flights to Tel Aviv daily.
Don’t be surprised if Putin and Russia drop him like a hot potato when his role as a “spanner in the works” is fulfilled.
Erdogan is nobody’s champion and if you think he is, your opinion is based on all the wrong reasons.