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South Asia

Turkey seeks US support to maintain troops in Afghanistan | Source: Ariana News

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would need “diplomatic, logistic and financial assistance” from the United States if it were to maintain troops in Afghanistan to protect and run Kabul’s international airport, following the withdrawal of other NATO troops.

Source: Ariana News


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Erdogan Says US Can Count on Turkey After Afghanistan Troop Pullout | Source: The Defense Post

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would be the “only reliable” country left to stabilize Afghanistan after the US pulls out its troops, indicating Washington could rely on its NATO ally. Turkey has made clear its intentions to stay in the war-torn country, but the details remain unclear.

Source: The Defense Post


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Europe

Turkey Undermines NATO, Yet Again | Source: The Globalist

Turkey has reportedly used its veto power as a member of NATO to water down an official condemnation of Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko, for forcing down of a passenger plane, in order to arrest Roman Protasevich, a dissident journalist on board. Erdogan’s move to protect Russia’s Belarusian ally is only the latest case of collusion between Ankara and Moscow to undermine NATO.

Source: The Globalist


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Expert Analysis

Fake News Alert: Russia & Turkey Are Not Sending Peacekeepers To Palestine

14 MAY 2021

Fake News Alert: Russia & Turkey Are Not Sending Peacekeepers To Palestine

Turkish President Erdogan’s disclosure that he proposed dispatching a peacekeeping force to Palestine during this week’s talks with his Russian counterpart has been misconstrued by many in the Alt-Media Community as implying an impending mission to the Holy Land, but that’s nothing more than fake news since the topic was only brought up for soft power purposes and no such joint operation is seriously being planned.

The Alt-Media Community (AMC) can be a very valuable place for learning about facts and interpretations thereof that are largely suppressed by the Mainstream Media for “politically correct” reasons, but it can also be a cesspit of fake news as well if one lacks the media literacy to identify the various information products that they come across online. Among the latest false narratives to be propagated across the community is the claim that Russia and Turkey are ready to deploy a peacekeeping force to Palestine. This counterfactual claim is based upon Turkish President Erdogan’s disclosure that he proposed a peacekeeping mission to his Russian counterpart during this week’s talks, though that part of their conversation curiously wasn’t mentioned in the official Kremlin website’s report of their call. No one should doubt that it was probably touched upon to some extent, but it evidently wasn’t serious enough of a topic for the Kremlin to inform the world about.

At this point, it’s necessary for readers to take a step back and assess the strategic dynamics of the latest “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict as objectively as they possibly can. Regardless of whichever side one supports, everyone should acknowledge that there’s an intense information war being waged by each warring party and their sympathizers. Plenty of fake news is being propagated in order to manufacture false impressions of the situation and its future course. In the context of this analysis, one such example is the AMC’s misconstruing of President Erdogan’s conversation with President Putin and subsequent misreporting that the two are seriously considering an impending peacekeeping mission to the Holy Land. This dramatic claim ignores Russia’s perfectly balanced approach to the conflict whereby Moscow has refused to take either party’s side and it also distracts from Turkey’s “politically inconvenient” relationship with “Israel”.

About the first point, many in the AMC wishfully think that Russia and especially its leader are secretly against “Israel”. This is partly due to years of indoctrination after they’ve read countless fake news reports about this topic in the AMC from individuals and outlets that are motivated by ego, ideology, and/or profit (i.e. boosting ad revenue through clickbait and/or soliciting more donations from naive but well-intended members of their audience for reaffirming their false expectations). The second point operates very similarly nowadays as well. Just like there are those who imagine that Russia is anti-Zionist, so too are there many who imagine the same about Turkey despite Ankara’s continued political and economic ties with “Israel”. For various reasons, it’s fashionable to pretend that both of them are against “Israel”, particularly Turkey due to some recent highly publicized disagreements between the two, but both narratives are debunked by the facts.

Nevertheless, quite a few Facebook pages (mostly those targeting Muslims) and even casual commentators fell for the fake news being pushed by those who claimed that Russia and Turkey are preparing to dispatch a joint peacekeeping mission to Palestine. This reflects just how unaware those individuals are of those two countries’ relations with “Israel” (due to a large extent to the years’ worth of fake news they’ve been indoctrinated into believing about that topic) as well as how desperate they are to believe that some Great Powers are assembling the peacekeeping mission that so many of them sincerely hope for. What’s most regrettable about this latest fake news narrative is that it’s bound to be debunked by subsequent developments and result in people’s unrealistically high and completely manufactured hopes being shattered in the coming future, after which they’ll likely be confused and perhaps more susceptible to anti-Russian and -Turkish narratives.

It’s everyone’s right to believe whatever they want, whether it’s the fake news about those two allegedly assembling a joint peacekeeping force for Palestine or any critical interpretations of their policies (whether in general or specific to this or another issue), but folks also deserve to be informed that they’ve been misled whenever viral fake news succeeds in convincing them of something that isn’t true. Nobody wants to have their hopes shattered, especially if the latter were unrealistically high and the result of fake news, hence the obligation that every sincere member of the AMC has to inform their fellows whenever this is happening. President Erdogan knows very well that no such peacekeeping mission is going to happen, but he brought it up with President Putin in order to create a soft power talking point that could boost his country’s supposed anti-Zionist credentials. It was thus nothing more than a tactical infowar move and nothing to be taken seriously.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, Turkey, Putin, Erdogan, Palestine, Israel, Alt-Media, Infowars.


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Geopolitics

MIDDLE EAST:

SYRIA:

  • The United States and Turkey will continue to work together to promote common interests in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara was ready to launch hostilities in Idlib amid failed Russian-Turkish contacts.

SOURCE: BULGARIA MILITARY


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EUROPE:

TURKEY:

  • The spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayop Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, said that Turkey would not back down over the purchase of the Russian S-400 defense system, for which the United States has imposed sanctions on Ankara.

SOURCE: ORTHODOX TIMES


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Expert Analysis

The US’ Anti-Turkish Sanctions Will Strengthen Its Target’s Sovereignty

The US’ Anti-Turkish Sanctions Will Strengthen Its Target’s Sovereignty

15 DECEMBER 2020

The recently imposed targeted sanctions against Turkey and the impending National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021 ones mandating similar measures against it for its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems, while illegal in terms of international law and a blatant example of unfriendly meddling in its nominal NATO ally’s affairs, will actually strengthen its target’s sovereignty by inspiring it to double down on its independent policies.

Subversive Sanctions

Mideast observers were alarmed but not necessarily surprised to hear that the US recently imposed targeted sanctions against Turkey and that its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021 mandates similar ones for its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems. The US has long threatened to punish its nominal NATO ally under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), but now it’s finally come to pass and will become law through the NDAA. Although Trump threatened to veto it for not appealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the Senate has a veto-proof majority so they’ll ultimately be able to override his efforts. Moreover, Monday’s targeted sanctions show that the President certainly supports this policy in principle. Although illegal in terms of international law and a blatant example of unfriendly meddling in its putative partner’s affairs, this development actually strengthens its target’s sovereignty by inspiring it to double down on its independent policies.

Turkey’s “Military Diplomacy” With Russia

The US’ intention is to pressure Turkey into reversing its fast-moving rapprochement with Russia over the past few years which was supercharged after the failed pro-American military coup attempt against President Erdogan in summer 2016. That decisive event showed Turkey the importance of diversifying its strategic partnerships, particularly in the military sphere, ergo its decision to purchase the S-400s. The US argues that these systems are redundant since Turkey has access to American options instead, yet it’s particularly because of the unprecedented distrust between those two countries that Ankara doesn’t feel comfortably relying on its so-called “ally’s” equipment, especially not after the failed military coup. Since then, “military diplomacy” — the use of military means to advance political ends — has been at the core of the emerging Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership. This has enabled both countries to quickly improve the trust between them, as well more responsibly manage regional conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya, and Azerbaijan.

American Mistakes

American policymakers underestimated President Erdogan’s resolve to diversify Turkey’s strategic partnerships, wrongly thinking that the threat of sanctions would succeed in getting him to step back from his country’s ongoing rapprochement with Russia and possibly even manufacture an unexpected rift between them if Ankara abandoned the S-400 deal. They also failed to understand just how much he distrusts the US after the failed military coup. By arrogantly sanctioning his country, they’re counterproductively confirming his suspicions that the US treats Turkey like a “junior partner” and is still committed to undermining him personally after he invested so much of his political reputation at home into seeing the historic S-400 deal succeed. Even a simple leadership analysis by a casual observer would suggest that threats are the wrong way to deal with someone like President Erdogan since he doesn’t back down and is actually emboldened to stick with his position when pressured for principle’s sake. The US obviously knows this, yet it still sanctioned Turkey.

Three Explanations

There are three primary explanations for why they decided to go through with this policy in spite of that. The first is that the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) are deeply divided on the issue and that the pragmatists who understand just how counterproductive this policy is have been beaten by the ideologues who want to send a strong message of displeasure by sanctioning Turkey. The second one is that the “deep state” is united on this issue, perhaps believing that the substance of the forthcoming sanctions will eventually be just as significant as their optics and thus stand a chance of succeeding with their stated goal. And thirdly, it might very well be that the US has resigned itself to the fact that the Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership is a geopolitical reality that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and that the best that they can do is show the world that the American-Turkish Strategic Partnership will be irreparably harmed as a result.

The US’ Dual Containment Strategy

The author predicted last month that “Russia & Turkey Stand To Lose The Most From A Biden Presidency”, arguing that the Democrat’s promise of more pragmatic relations with China and a possible return to the Iranian nuclear deal would combine to put immense pressure on those two Great Powers, though with the unintended outcome of naturally driving them even closer together into a deeper relationship of complex strategic interdependence. That likely being the case in such a scenario, the US might want to get a head start on its dual containment of those two, thus finally imposing sanctions on Turkey for its S-400 purchase in order to set the stage for the next four years, during which time its target will either double down on its independent policies or buckle under pressure. The latter scenario is unlikely though since it would amount to Turkey strategically submitting to the US’ fading unipolar hegemony, which would have drastic consequences for the country’s sovereignty, perhaps even accelerating America’s plans to carry out regime change there.

Concluding Thoughts

That’s why the last of the three explanations behind this move — that the US accepts the continued existence of the Russian-Turkish Strategic Partnership but wants to fire off a warning shot signaling its severe displeasure — is the most credible. This observation also reinforces the author’s feelings that Russia and Turkey will be Biden’s top two geopolitical targets, which will in turn lead to them moving much closer together in response. It’ll of course remain to be seen whether more such sanctions will be symbolic or substantive, but this development is still an unquestionably negative one for American-Turkish relations. President Erdogan’s domestic position won’t be weakened either, but will actually improve since the US is showing the Turkish people how responsible their leader’s “military diplomacy” was in diversifying the country’s strategic partnerships out of concern that America couldn’t be trusted. While the future is always difficult to predict, one thing is clear, and it’s that US-Turkish relations will never be the same after these sanctions were imposed.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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