How Erdogan’s Turkey became NATO’s wild card

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Finnish President Sauli Niinistö mentioned that Ankara had agreed to help the membership bids of his nation and Sweden, eradicating a serious hurdle to the 2 becoming a member of the alliance.

Turkey has turn into a headache for NATO. However latest geopolitical occasions have proven that it is one the alliance should tolerate. Consultants say Erdogan is aware of that effectively and has used his nation’s place within the grouping to serve its nationwide pursuits.

In a European battle that has primarily turn into a battle between the Kremlin and NATO, Turkey has positioned itself as a impartial celebration, opting not to join its allies in sanctioning Russia whereas providing to mediate between the combatants. It has supported Ukraine within the battle however has been cautious to not antagonize Moscow.

Consultants say Turkey is at present extra beneficial than ever to NATO. The nation sits on the south-eastern flank of the alliance, a key buffer between Russia and the West. It maintains the second-largest military within the alliance after the US, and borders a swathe of Center Japanese nations with a historical past of political instability, and the place Western states have main pursuits.

Ankara, nevertheless, hasn’t at all times been a thorn within the facet of the alliance.

Turkey joined NATO in 1952, three years after it was fashioned within the aftermath of World Warfare II, and it considers the alliance to be “the cornerstone” of its protection and safety policy. However analysts and historians say that whereas Turkey served the group’s strategic pursuits traditionally, it has turn into extra of a disruptive pressure beneath Erdogan’s rule.

Erdogan served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014, and president since 2014.

Turkish drones have become a symbol of the Ukrainian resistance
“Throughout the Chilly Warfare, Turkey [was] well-embedded in Western safety infrastructures,” mentioned Oya Dursun-Ozkanca, a political science professor at Elizabethtown School in Pennsylvania and creator of “Turkey-West Relations: The Politics of Intra-Alliance Opposition,” including that the nation had been a “pretty dependable” Western ally for over half a century.

The frequency and the depth of disagreements between Turkey and NATO allies have nevertheless elevated over time as Ankara adopts proactive and anti-Western international policy positions, she mentioned.

Erdogan has disagreed with NATO allies on quite a few points, together with Syria and Libya, and has used his nation’s strategic location to extract concessions from his European neighbors by threatening to open the floodgates of refugees from neighboring battle zones.
In 2009, Turkey opposed the appointment of Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen as head of NATO till then-US President Barack Obama pledged that considered one of Rasmussen’s deputies could be a Turk. Turkey had argued that Rasmussen’s handling of the offenses to Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in 2006 have been problematic.
In maybe its boldest and most controversial move, Turkey in 2019 purchased the Russian S-400 missile protection system, calling into query a decades-long alliance with each the US and NATO. The S-400 missiles have been designed to shoot down NATO planes.
Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat and chairman of Istanbul-based think-tank EDAM, mentioned Erdogan’s “hyper-centralized decision-making” and his “combative, more aggressive, [and] much less consensus-driven” management fashion has triggered difficulties for NATO.
“That is additionally a mirrored image of the elevated unpredictability of Turkish foreign policy,” he mentioned.

However consultants say that it is solely pure {that a} member of an alliance will prioritize nationwide pursuits the place it will probably. The issue arises when these pursuits diverge from NATO’s agenda.

“The Turks complicate NATO’s consensus-based decision-making as a result of they refuse to glide till nationwide pursuits are glad,” mentioned Rich Outzen, a senior fellow on the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC and former US navy officer and State Division official.

“This isn’t dangerous alliance conduct; it’s typical alliance conduct for states with the burden to tug it off,” he added.

Whereas Turkey understands its worth to NATO, it additionally sees its personal profit in its membership, analysts say. Ankara has gone to NATO greater than as soon as for strategic safety help, mentioned Ulgen. “It’s a safety and political relationship that’s mutually helpful.

“In the end Turkiye and NATO do want one another,” he mentioned, utilizing the country’s new name.

The digest

Iran applies to affix BRICS group of rising international locations

Iran has submitted an software to turn into a member within the group of rising economies often called the BRICS, an Iranian official mentioned on Monday. Membership of the BRICS group, which incorporates Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, “would lead to added values for each side,” Iran’s Overseas Ministry spokesperson mentioned.

  • Background: Russia has lengthy been pushing to forge nearer ties with Asia, South America and the Center East, however it has intensified its efforts just lately to climate sanctions imposed by Europe, america and different international locations over its invasion of Ukraine.
  • Why it issues: Russia solid the purposes as proof that the West was failing to isolate Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine. “Whereas the White Home was eager about what else to show off on this planet, ban or spoil, Argentina and Iran utilized to affix the BRICS,” Russian Overseas Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned. BRICS account for greater than 40% of the world’s inhabitants and about 26% of the worldwide economic system.

Jailed Egyptian blogger getting into hazard zone in starvation strike – mom

The mom of jailed Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah says she is frightened there may very well be a speedy deterioration in her son’s well being after practically 90 days on starvation strike, regardless of some enhancements in his jail situations. Abd el-Fattah, a 40-year-old blogger who rose to prominence with Egypt’s 2011 rebellion, has turn into too weak to do his personal washing or climb to look out of a excessive window in his cell, his mom Laila Soueif mentioned.

  • Background: Abd el-Fattah was sentenced to 5 years in December on expenses of spreading false information for sharing a social media put up in regards to the demise of a prisoner, and had beforehand been jailed for protesting with out authorization. He started the strike on April 2 towards his detention and alleged authorized violations in jail.
  • Why it issues: His trigger has attracted consideration in Britain after he obtained UK citizenship final yr, a part of the household’s marketing campaign to safe his launch. Egypt’s state press heart didn’t reply to a request for remark. On June 9, the inside ministry mentioned it had clips proving that Abd el-Fattah was not on starvation strike, although it didn’t publish footage.

UN estimates 1.5% of Syria’s inhabitants was killed throughout battle

The United Nations human rights workplace on Tuesday mentioned that roughly 1.5% of Syria’s pre-war inhabitants, or 306,887 civilians, have been killed between 2011 and 2021 as a result of battle. The quantity is the best estimate by the UN thus far.

  • Background: Syria descended right into a civil battle after protests towards President Bashar al-Assad and his regime sprang up in March 2011. The battle drew in a number of world powers and left the nation in ruins, with 1000’s of civilians killed and tens of millions displaced. The report additionally estimates that “on common, each single day, for the previous 10 years, 83 civilians suffered violent deaths as a result of battle.”
  • Why it issues: Whereas the battle has been frozen for years as Assad regained management of most of Syria, the humanitarian disaster has continued. The report additionally notes that the file estimate is barely a portion of deaths, and that the evaluation provides “a clearer sense of the severity and scale of the battle.”

Across the area

Lengthy seen as an integral a part of Cairo’s fashionable historical past and a mark of the capital’s creative panorama, a number of the River Nile’s houseboats are dealing with a destiny just like a lot of town’s different well-known options: removing for the sake of modernization.

Dozens of the floating constructions line the Egyptian capital’s principal river. Some are residence to residents, whereas others are nightclubs, eating places or cafes the place town’s artists, writers and students are identified to assemble.

A few of the houseboats are as previous as 100 years, mentioned Ahdaf Souef, a well-known Egyptian novelist and proprietor of a houseboat that she says has been ordered for removing by the state. Many such vessels have additionally been featured in acclaimed Egyptian films, together with the 1971 film “Chitchat on the Nile.”

Social media campaigns have swept a number of platforms, with the hashtag #SaveCairoHouseboats trending on Twitter within the nation after the primary removals started two weeks in the past.

“That is my residence,” mentioned Ahdaf Souef, talking in a video posted on Twitter, “Others have been born on these boat homes, they do not know anything.”

The North African nation has been on an enormous development growth, backed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

However activists and residents have criticized the constructing spree, saying that town’s heritage and character is being misplaced within the title of modernization.

Authorities say that every act of removing is being fastidiously studied and assessed to be sure that historic websites stay untouched.

In a talk show with Egyptian host Amr Adeeb, head of the Nile Safety Division in Higher Cairo, Ayman Anwar, mentioned the orders for removing of sure houseboats started in 2020, and that discover was given to these dwelling in them.

Anwar additionally famous that boats labeled as “historic” by the state or people who serve touristic functions will not be eliminated. Many of the houseboats marked for removing are worn out and have to be eliminated for security causes, he added.

Three houseboats have been eliminated since June 18, and 15 others are due for removing by June 28, Anwar mentioned.

By Nadeen Ebrahim

$561 billion

The worth of petroleum exports by the 13-member Group of the Petroleum Exporting Nations (OPEC) in 2021, up 77% from 2020, OPEC’s Annual Statistical Bulletin revealed on Tuesday confirmed.

Picture of the day

A young Iraqi shepherdess cools down buffaloes in wastewater filling the dried-up Diyala river which was a tributary of the Tigris, in the Al-Fadiliyah district east of Baghdad, on June 26. Iraq's drought reflects a decline in the level of waterways due to the lack of rain and lower flows from upstream neighboring countries Iran and Turkey.



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