OP-ED: The U.N. & NATO Need To Stop Sparing The Rod And Discipline The Spoiled Child, Turkey
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As the United States gets another a tongue-lashing from Turkey over backing the Kurds during the Syrian peace accord, it’s becoming quite clear that Turkey wants to play by its own set of rules regardless of what’s at stake. That stake being the thwarting of forward progress of Islamic State and stopping the slaughter of thousands of innocent lives. It’s also quite evident that external pressure from the United Nations and NATO on Turkey’s petulant behavior is either nonexistent or very lax for it continues unabated whilst the rest of the world watches.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanju Bilgic, made it known that they are “astonished” that the U.S. would put “ally Turkey and a terrorist organization in the same equation.” Of course, that ‘terrorist organisation’ is the Syrian Kurds who are undoubtedly, doing the most fighting against Islamic State with significant gains to show for it. So why is Turkey so hell-bent on defaming and fighting the very forces doing the most damage to Islamic State? It’s not so much Turkey as it is the elected officials calling the shots, starting with Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Kurdish-Turkey conflict has been ongoing for decades now with no end in sight; this situation exacerbated by the Islamic State fighting both Kurdish and Turkish forces. Actually, Turkey wants the world to believe that they are actively fighting Islamic State when reports over the news wire state differently. All appearances of Turkey’s actions lead to one conclusion, they are not committed to fighting Islamic State, they are committed to eradicating the Kurds (Turkey’s latest massacre was in Cizre, where 60 civilians were killed). Turkey continues to posture against the Kurds even while attending the Syrian peace talks and has the audacity to chastise the United States for not only backing the Kurds, but to put them on equal footing with them.
As Erdogan and Turkey press forward on their fight against the Kurds, enter the United Nations and NATO into the equation. It was only a few months ago that Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that violated its airspace, which it had every right to do, but the timing and circumstances of this incident put additional strain on the U.N. and NATO (the crisis in Crimea and Ukraine). The latest in the ‘feud’ between Turkey and Russia centers around Turkish activists hacking Russia’s communication minister and some speculate that the reason Turkey is ‘behaving’ poorly is due to losing a seat on the U.N. Security Council in 2014.
As far as Turkey’s war on the Kurds is concerned, the U.N. and NATO must pressure Turkey to cease and desist the attacks on the Kurds like the United States has; the U.S. alone cannot elicit change from Turkey and it must be a combined effort while calling Erdogan’s bluff on his ultimatum of restricting U.S. and allied access to Incirlik airbase. The U.N. and NATO have tried to quell the tensions between Turkey and Russia with no progress to show for it other than Erdogan acting like a petulant child who cannot get his way.
The best way for the U.N. and NATO to stop sparing the rod and discipline the spoiled child, Turkey? Give the Kurds full autonomy and redraw the map of the Middle East to include Kurdistan, an independent, sovereign nation who would upon being a free nation, be immediately voted in as a member of the U.N. and/or NATO, then Turkey would have to think twice about continuing its war on the Kurds, especially if it enjoys its membership in both the U.N. and NATO.