How far will lead Turkey’s loud rhetoric against NATO?
After a failed military coup in Turkey the relations between Ankara and Washington cooled sharply. The issue of extradition of the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, who lives now in America and who is considered the mastermind of the coup by the Turkish authorities, as well as the death penalty, about the return of which the first persons of Turkey speak more and more confidently, have become the stumbling blocks.
For example, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, today expressed a concern over the continued arrests and detention of thousands of officials in Turkey, calling on the Turkish government to respect the democratic principles.
The Experts Viktor Litovkin and Vladimir Olenchenko in an interview to the correspondents of Vestnik Kavkaza expressed doubt that America's threat to exclude Turkey from NATO can really be implemented.
Turkey is a very important component of the NATO system, the military commentator of TASS and retired Colonel, Victor Litovkin, reminded. ‘’The largest aviation base Incirlik is located in the country, where about 90 US nuclear gravity bombs B61 are deployed. Turkey is NATO's southern flank of the European defense and, so to speak, the underbelly of Russia. Therefore its strategic importance for NATO is very large,’’ he explained .
"In addition, the Turkish fleet in the Black Sea is important for NATO, the Bosphorus, which serves for the passage of NATO’s ships, and all the major radar stations are in Turkey, which scan very deeply the Russian territory in its European part,’’ the expert added.
"Turkey has the second largest army in NATO. How will NATO be able to do without the Straits and the Black Sea? I do not really know how the North Atlantic Alliance will decide to do so, even despite the US pressure,’’ Victor Litovkin asked.
The senior fellow at the Center for European Studies of IMEMO, Vladimir Olenchenko, stressed, that the issue of the exclusion of NATO is completely new for the world community, Europe, the United States, and Turkey. "The United States had initiated the creation of NATO and otherwise sought and seek to ensure the expanding of the organization in all directions. So the question of exclusion of Turkey is more a bravado, caused by indignation of America on the closure of their base in Incirlik and numerous anti-American statements by the Turkish authorities," he said.
"And considering that Erdogan himself requires the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, probably, now there is a fight of manifestations between Ankara and Washington. So far there are no practical steps in addition to the words. Perhaps, incidentally the secret negotiations have begun between Turkey in order to find some compromise,’’ the expert suggested.
In addition, the expert said, that the problems in relations between Turkey and NATO can add value in the alliance of the Eastern European countries such as Romania and Poland, which have long been eager to do so.
Yesterday the director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Vitaly Naumkin, also expressed the opinion to Vestnik Kavkaza that a complete rupture between Ankara and Washington will not happen.