The hot question of a TURKSXIT needs to be debated in the open!
The NATO membership problem, for NATO and Turkey, is very complicated, a t-chart would show many positives and negatives on both sides of this issue.
The conclusion and prediction that I have reached, to save all of you that don’t want or need to read the background and details, is this:
Turkey will withdraw its membership in NATO and leave. Of course, they will demand concessions, money, pipeline agreements, migration agreements, etc., all the way through the TURKSXIT withdrawal negotiations. Then the US and NATO will have to remove their military presence, and Turkey will take its rightful place in the middle east, and stop trying to align itself with Europe. I have named their withdrawal TURKSXIT, but it won’t need to be voted on by the Turkish citizens. This prediction is made by the basic fact that NATO has no mechanism for removing a member of bad standing, they don’t even define what a bad standing is.
Energy – The critical issue and the trigger for withdrawal. The question is, with the number one enemy of NATO being Russia, how can Turkey contract with Putin to build its nuclear power stations?
The world-nuclear organization reports:
Turkey imports much of its energy, including 98% of its natural gas and 93% of its oil, and in 2012 this amounted to more than $60 billion. Improving energy efficiency and energy security are high priorities. About 58% of its gas and 35% of its oil come from Russia, and in February 2016 Gazprom arbitrarily increased the gas price by 10.25% regardless of contracts, and cut supply when Turkish firms declined to pay the extra. Turkey’s Strategic Plan for 2019 was to increase hydroelectric capacity from 25 GWe to 32 GWe, wind capacity from 5 GWe to 10 GWe, a geothermal capacity to 700 MWe, solar capacity to 3 GWe and biomass capacity to 700 MWe. (For a review of the hydroelectric capacity see this previous CRAWLINGS FREE PRESS article.)
Plans for nuclear power are a fundamental aspect of the country’s aim for economic growth, and it aims to cut back its vulnerable reliance on Russian and Iranian gas for electricity. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (ETKB) projects 2020 power production as possibly 499 TWh in a high scenario of 8% growth or 406 TWh with a low one with 6.1% growth. The state generation company is Elektrik Uretim AS (EUAS).
The answer to why Russia would agree to build Turkey’s nuclear power stations could be their economic desperation. They know that Turkey’s reliance on oil will fall anyway, and they need the cash from such a contract. Russia is hurting from the low price of oil, and with the US shale production keeping the prices low, there is no future active relief in sight.
Potential Conflicts – If Russia were to invade further into Ukraine, which would threaten Europe and NATO, or to invade the Baltic States, which would be a direct attack on NATO, would Turkey support Russia or NATO? Nearly three decades after the wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed, the solemn vow of all NATO members under Article 5, is that all members will come to the aid of any member who is attacked.
Muslim conflicts – With a war raging on its southern border with Syria, unrest and ongoing fighting with the Kurds, how were they able to maneuver with Russia, who supports the Assad regime that Turkey and the western world are trying to topple? Turkey has sought to stay liberal in Religious terms allowing infidels to exist without penalty in their country. However, the dogma of Islam is rising, and it could very well be that in the back of Erdogan’s mind, he envisions himself as the next Caliphate to rule the Muslim world. Turkey was the home of the longest ruling and most powerful caliphate, from 1517 to 1954. During this time the Muslims invaded all of North Africa and a huge push into Europe. Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was born in 1953. He was raised and grew up with parents who were part of the demise and defeat of the Muslim incursion into Europe.
EU Membership – Turkey proposed accession negotiations for its membership in the European Union following its financial crash in 2001. Erdogan then made positive moves towards the western world, bringing to Turkey massive investment in infrastructure, with the continued building of dams, new roads, airports and a high-speed train network. He also removed power from the military that had ruled the country to obtain more investments from skeptical financiers. The EU has put the Turkey accession talks on hold, with many EU MP’s declaring it will never happen.
2016 Coup d’ état – In the quiet corners of the world, where leaders are working for detente, there are whispers that the unsuccessful coup attempt was a false flag operation. If this is the actual case, then Turkey’s withdrawal will be a behind the scenes agreement for those intelligence operatives who know that this is a fact, and the public may never learn the truth for many years to come. The evidence for this scenario is the purge that took place, starting within minutes of the Coup, and removing thousands of opposition teachers, military leaders and civil workers from their positions. It was just too convenient not to have been planned in advance.
Middle East Power Structure – Turkey is now positioned, thanks to its infrastructural growth and development, to be the next powerhouse of the Middle East. With all the new dams on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, Turkey now controls the fresh water supply for Syria, Iraq and into the corners of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, the only other country with enough power to challenge Turkey, has become the fat and lazy man of the Middle East. Still quite powerful, but losing fast as they have squandered the riches they have made from oil over one hundred dollars a barrel. Their irrigation systems have gone dry as they over-pumped water to feed their enormous dairy operations and now have moved many large-scale dairy operations across the Red Sea into Africa. The question is, is it too little and too late? They are now trying to sell off the Kingdoms assets to raise money. Iran has much potential but needs outside help, which they only obtain from Russia, who is also building nuclear power stations in Iran.
There are other issues such as relations with Georgia, Armenia, etc., that might also influence the outcome. The so-called Kurdish problem, which was caused by France and the UK not giving these ancient people a country of their own when they arrogantly drew map lines around the middle east at the end of the World War, will not go away. The Kurdish people will always fight for a homeland of their own, they only fought and won the rights to teach their own children in their own schools, in their own language, just a few years ago.
Disclosure: I was taught in Journalism school in the seventies, to keep your background in your background. However, for this article, I must point out that I lived and worked in Turkey during 1968-69, as an intelligence operative for the Army Security Agency, Diogenes station, located on top of a peninsula jutting into the Black Sea, in Sinop, Turkey. My job, a technician at the Bankhead III installation was involved in tracking Russian spy satellites. So it is much concern personally to see that Sinop has been chosen for a new Nuclear power station, to be built by Russia. What a change, instead of trolling in the Black Sea with their destroyer/spy ships, they have now landed.