Will Turkey give US 'Ottoman slap'?

Will Turkey give US 'Ottoman slap'?

Ankara may give Washington an 'Ottoman slap', Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, stressing that all NATO members are equal with the US.

"It is clear that those who say 'we will respond aggressively if you hit us' have never experienced an Ottoman slap," Washington Examiner cited Erdogan as saying.

He stressed that American troops in Syria may be on the receiving end of an 'Ottoman slap' if they don’t abandon a key group of local fighters.

That was an apparent reference to comments made by US Lieutenant General Paul Funk during a visit to Manbij: "You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves."

Ottoman slap is a half-legendary Turkish martial move that involves a potent open-palm hit, resulting in a one-hit knockout or even skull fractures and death.

Political scientist Orhan Gafarli, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that such an exchange of harsh statements will continue as long as Turkey carries out the Olive Branchoperation in Syria. "Turkey wants to solve the problem with the US: an adviser to President Donald Trump and the Foreign Minister recently visited Ankara. Dialogue continues and there remains the possibility that the parties can agree on Syrian problems, including Afrin. Everything depends on the US here, because Turkey states clearly its desires. I think the US will try to calm Turkey and solve security issues between the parties," he expects.

In this regard, such statements should be viewed as internal political ones. "I do not think that the parties can go beyond this exchange of statements. The Turkish president's statements about the 'Ottoman slap' was made for the internal public. Our Foreign Ministry and the presidential apparatus talk about other things at the talks. And the question is to what extent Washington is ready to observe the interests of Turkey in the Middle East," Orhan Gafarli stressed.

The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, first of all, drew attention to the fact that in general Ankara's position on Syria seems rather doubtful for Russia, the exception is the productive Astana process. "As for Erdogan's statement, I would like to consider it in a broader context: a number of countries and many politicians has a similar position," he said.

"This tendency is especially evident in the Middle East, where the presence of the US armed forces is carried out, including under rather far-fetched pretexts," the expert said.

The expert expressed the opinion that the time is approaching when it is not enough just to make statements in response to US forceful methods of pressure - force must be countered with force. "Of course, this force should be civilized and reasonable, but we are getting into that," he noted.

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