The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed in 1949. The alliance was originally formed to stave off the possibility of the Soviet Union annexing more of Europe. In 1952, Turkey and Greece were added to NATO. Greece left NATO in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus and NATO did not react (Cyprus was not a member of NATO, so no response was triggered). Greece rejoined NATO in 1980. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became President of Turkey in 2014 and has been moving Turkey toward an Islamic dictatorship since he took power.
Yesterday The Hill reported that President Erdogan has called on his foreign minister to banish 10 ambassadors from Western countries, including the United States, after they called for the “urgent release” of a Turkish philanthropist, Reuters reported.
The article reports:
Earlier this week, ambassadors from the embassies of 10 countries called on a resolution for the case of Osman Kavala, who has been in prison for several years after facing charges both in 2013 and 2016 for allegedly financially backing the 2013 protests and for his supposed involvement in a 2016 attempted coup.
Those charges have been disputed by Kavala, and he was originally absolved of his 2013-related charges; however, earlier this year, the 2013-charges were reinstated along with charges from the 2016 incident, according to Reuters.
“Today marks four years since the ongoing detention of Osman Kavala began. The continuing delays in his trial, including by merging different cases and creating new ones after a previous acquittal, cast a shadow over respect for democracy, the rule of law and transparency in the Turkish judiciary system,” according to a statement issued on Monday through the U.S. Embassy in Turkey.
“Together, the embassies of Canada, France, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America believe a just and speedy resolution to his case must be in line with Turkey’s international obligations and domestic laws,” the statement continued. “Noting the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the matter, we call for Turkey to secure his urgent release.”
Erdoğan claimed in his speech Saturday that the countries will “know and understand Turkey,” adding that “the day they do not know and understand Turkey, they will leave,” according to Reuters.
This is something to watch to see if President Erdogan’s actions have an impact on Turkey’s relationship with NATO. Since becoming President, Erdogan has drawn closer to the Muslim world and pretty much cut his friendly ties to Israel. I truly believe that it is President Erdogan’s intent to reestablish the caliphate that was the Ottoman Empire (with Turkey at the head). That will be interesting as Iran also plans to reestablish that caliphate with Iran at the head. Stay tuned.