Yalçın Topçu, a key advisor of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Monday said NATO was behind all coups in Turkey, stating that it is time to review membership in the alliance, Habertürk daily reported.
Topçu’s statement comes at a time when tension is high between Turkey and NATO due to an enemy chart scandal during a NATO drill in Norway. The image of Atatürk, the founder of Turkey, was displayed by a technician as a target during a NATO military exercise in Norway held between Nov. 8 and Nov. 17. In a second incident an alliance officer posted defamatory comments about President Erdoğan on an intra-NATO social media site. The technician and the military officer were later sacked, and Ankara withdrew 40 soldiers from the drill.
“NATO is behind all coups [in Turkey] and defense industry dependency. It is time to review our NATO membership,” Topçu said in a statement on the enemy chart scandal in Norway. “NATO is not a military pact but the contemporary shape of neo-colonialism. It is economic and political dependency,” Topçu added, calling on the Turkish people to stand with President Erdoğan in the 2019 elections against the “impudent” and “dishonest” moves of NATO.
Meanwhile, Ardan Zentürk, a columnist for the pro-government Star daily, has said Turkey will fight a war with NATO, adding that whoever says they “will not fight” should leave the country now.
Starting with a recent scandal in which Atatürk was portrayed as an enemy on a war chart during a NATO drill in Norway, then adding US aid to Kurdish forces in Syria, a court case against Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab for violating US sanctions against İran and the US refusal to extradite Fethullah Gülen, who the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup in Turkey last summer, Zentürk in his article said: “The US is not now administered by Americans who are accountable to the American taxpayer. Low-life people from the neocon/Zionist lobby with deep media connections have launched an operation against our country by turning [US President Donald] Trump into a puppet.”
“The ‘emergence of the East’ has started under the Erdoğan-[Russian President Vladimir] Putin agreement. The first achievement of this rise should be the immediate closure of İncirlik Air Base [in Turkey’s Adana province] if the imperialist attack continues,” said Zentürk.
Claiming that a conflict between Turkey and the US is inevitable and that Turkey is at the point of “to be or not to be,” Zentürk said: ” It is clear that we will fight one day. … I recommend that those who say ‘I am not part of this fight, my property and comfort come before my country’ leave the country today.”
Both Islamist and ultranationalist/Eurosianist circles in Turkey have been pushing the idea of closing NATO/US bases in Turkey and leaving the alliance.
The Yeni Şafak daily, a staunch supporter of Erdoğan and the government, on Sunday said NATO plans to attack Turkey in 2018.
The ultranationalist Aydınlık daily on Sunday called for the closure of NATO bases in Turkey. The newspaper, which is known for its pro-Eurosianist line, on Saturday had called on the Turkish government to leave NATO.
Erdoğan’s ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on Saturday strongly reacted to the NATO enemy chart scandal, saying it is time to review Turkey’s membership in the alliance: “We were here when there was no NATO. It will not be the end of the world if it’s necessary that we leave the organization.”
Erdoğan on Saturday said the NATO enemy chart incident was caused by vile people, adding that the issue cannot be resolved with a simple apology.
Recalling reactions from NATO countries to the Turkish decision to buy a Russian S-400 missile defense system, Erdoğan said: “The reactions of some alliance countries when we were trying to buy an S-400 air defense system for our security confirms this distorted perspective. I am clearly telling NATO and the others: We have bought the S-400s, it is done.”
Norway’s Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen on Friday issued an apology to Turkey.
Earlier on Friday NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement saying, “I apologize for the offense caused.” He said the incident was the result of an “individual’s actions” and didn’t reflect the views of the alliance.
In the meantime, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry stated on Friday that Ankara would closely monitor legal proceedings against the perpetrators of the incident during the NATO drill in Norway.
An investigation has also been launched by Turkey’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office into the perpetrator or perpetrators of the drill scandal in in Norway. (SCF with turkishminute.com)