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Is Turkey’s Strategy Heading Toward “NATO-exit”?

Is Turkey’s Strategy Heading Toward “NATO-exit”? 7 April, 2018

The first answer to this question is: No!.. Turkish behaviour is based on the acknowledgement that NATO membership creates an ample room for manoeuvre in transatlantic relations. 

An explicit indicator of this decisiveness is Turkey’s being an important partner in the coalition against ISIS and its ability to make İncirlik the most essential military base in counterterrorism after long deliberations and despite the tension with the USA. 

Turkey and the USA manage to keep alive their time-honoured “alliance mechanisms” and to “sustain an environment of dialogue” even during times of seemingly irreconcilable military/political issues. 

In fact, the two NATO countries do not see eye to eye in the Syrian geography.  Developments ring alarm bells of an impending “military conflict”, whenever Menbic is at stake. 

As is known, if no unwanted incident has ever taken place, it is thanks to open channels of communication through NATO.  

Balance in Relations with Russia…

At the same time, Ankara knows very well that NATO membership is an element of balance in its relations with Russia. Although Russia today is no longer an “ideological state” like the former Soviet Union, it draws attention with its special interest in geographies from which the USA withdraws. 

Scenarios planned in Kremlin against the backdrop of the recent Turkish-Russia rapprochement is not yet evident. However, Ankara’s scenario has been clear from the very outset: Leaving an alliance for membership in another is definitely out of question!

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