- Turkey Opens Incirlik Air Base For U.S.-led Coalition’s Warplanes
- Turkey May Hold Key To Defeating Islamic State
- Bashing And wooing China
Turkey Opens Incirlik Air Base For U.S.-led Coalition’s Warplanes
Turkish government approved Friday the use of its air bases by the U.S.-led coalition’s forces in the war against the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) after talks held with a U.S. delegation in Ankara.
Sources in the Turkish Foreign Ministry told reporters that a U.S. delegation held talks with Turkish officials in Ankara earlier this week.
“Subsequently, the Turkish government agreed to open the Incirlik Air Base for the U.S.-led coalition’s warplanes to hit locations of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) and forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
This move opens the way for Turkey, a NATO member with large military capacities, to play an effective role in the U.S-led coalition against ISIS.
Ankara has been reluctant to allow the use of its air bases by the coalition’s warplanes in the anti-ISIS war. The agreement was reached after Turkey passed on its conditions of targeting pro-Assad headquarters beside those of ISIS by the U.S.-led coalition.
Turkey has also called for the establishment of a buffer zone inside Syria as well as a no-fly zone to secure Turkey’s borders and stop the influx of refugees from Syria. Turkish government has also called for military training and equipment for the Syrian opposition fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Turkey did not conceal its wish for a Syrian territorial unity, refusing the establishment of a Kurdish autonomous entity in northern Syria.
According to leaked information from the recently held Ankara meeting, the Turkish delegation, headed by Turkish Foreign Advisor Feridun Sinirlioglu Ihsanoglu, has insisted on the idea of establishing a buffer zone in northern Syria. While the American delegation, headed by John Ellen (representative of U.S. President Barack Obama for anti-ISIS campaign) has reportedly reassured Ankara that the Kurdish forces will not advance to areas west of the Euphrates River.
Speaking to ARA News, Syrian politician and lawyer Ferid Hisso said: “I don’t think the fight against the Syrian regime will be easily launched by the coalition at a similar level as the operations against ISIS.”
“The Turkish government has constantly refused to join the anti-ISIS war and prevented the use of its air bases by the coalition. Conditioning airstrikes against Assad regime is merely to save Turkey’s reputation after accusations of supporting ISIS,” he added, pointing out that the coalition’s priority now is to achieve victory on ISIS.
The Incirlik Air Base is located 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of Adana, the fifth largest Turkish city. The base is about 56 kilometers (35 miles) inland from the Mediterranean Sea. [Source: ARA News]
The inevitable disaster is about to happen. The USA has tried not to play Turkey card in Syria, but also it could not succeed with another way to recruit a pro-western opposition. So now it is trying to involve Turkish forces to Syrian problem as a NATO member by its Incirlik Air Base.
Turkey May Hold Key to Defeating Islamic State
Former President Jimmy Carter, who is hardly a defense hawk, concluded last October, “We waited too long. We let the Islamic State build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria.” Unfortunately, America continues to be late. President Barack Obama admits U.S. lacks a “complete strategy” with ISIS.
The U.S. should focus on Turkey. If successful, the rest will be gravy.
The geopolitical landscape is changing in Turkey. President Tayyip Erdogan, whose growing autocratic rule has become worrisome, acknowledged that a recent election diminishing his power needed to be “assessed healthily and realistically.”
Any U.S. strategy must recognize Turkey’s differing views of Iraq and Syria.
Erdogan has “warm relations” with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Turkey could be a major force in retaking nearby Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and ISIS’s biggest war prize, but Turkey needs soldiers in Iraq to pave the way.
The Iraqi government army is no help. It has abandoned American weapons to ISIS, and Iraqi soldiers have fled their posts as in Ramadi, showing they lacked “will to fight.” U.S. training of Sunni soldiers also has been plodding. Meanwhile, Iran-backed Shiite militias are working at cross purposes to U.S. interests, killing Sunni people and ransacking their property.
Iraqi KRG fighters (Peshmerga) are the opposite. They are mostly secular, and they are proven fighters who have defeated ISIS in northern Iraq. They are easily capable of mowing a path to Mosul for Turkey.
Syria is different. The U.S. has a reliable partner in YPG, Syria’s Kurdish militia, composed of “moderate, mostly secular” fighters, including many women. Despite a nonsensical recent flare-up by Erdogan, McClatchy reports that “Turkey says it will reach out to Kurds in Syria in search for cooperation.” That is good news. But Turkey has denied the U.S. full use of a vital air base in Incirlik unless the U.S. creates a safe zone in Syria. From liberal Sen. Dick Durbin to conservative Sen. Marco Rubio, several senators have urged Obama to take this action. He should.
America cannot afford to be late again so soon. Turkey may be holding the long end of the wishbone. [Source:The Des Moines Register]
As the internal affairs keeps going unstable, because of the coalition talks, external affairs warms up for Turkey. The USA wants from its regional allies to intervene into Syrian problem, while he sits at its throne and watch the Muslim Ummah killing each other.
Bashing and Wooing China
“I am not Chinese, I am Korean,” cried a frightened young woman as she was led away from demonstrators chanting anti-Chinese slogans near Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. Ultra-nationalists and Islamists were marching in solidarity with China’s Uighurs, who are Muslims and ethnic Turks, following reports of deadly clashes between students and police in Xinjiang province.
The incident is the latest in a spate of anti-Chinese protests egged on by media coverage of the plight of the Uighurs. Across Turkey, protesters have burned China’s flag and effigies of Mao Zedong. (Mao died nearly 40 years ago, but is better known than China’s current president.) Last week a Chinese restaurant in Istanbul was vandalised to cries of Allahu Akhbar. It later emerged that the “Happy China” was run by Turkish Muslims and that its chef was Uighur. “We don’t even serve booze,” griped the own
Turkey’s government echoes the protesters’ complaints, albeit more diplomatically. The foreign ministry said that news of Uighurs being “banned from fasting and fulfilling other acts of worship had been received with sadness by the Turkish public.” Devlet Bahceli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Action Party, asked crudely: “How does one distinguish between Chinese and Koreans? Both have slanted eyes.”
China denies that it has banned the fast, but it certainly does curb Uighur culture and it tells bureaucrats, teachers and students not to observe Ramadan.
Still, Turkey’s ruling Islamists want to remain on good terms with Beijing. Unfazed by objections from NATO partners, Turkey is mulling the purchase of Chinese long-range surface-to-air missiles. The Turkish government has denied Rebiya Kedeer, a campaigner for Uighur independence, a visa. Ironically though, Uighurs travel via Turkey to join Islamic State jihadists in Syria, as Firdevs Robinson, a Turkish blogger, observes.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, sees high strategic stakes. He says he would ditch efforts to join the European Union if Turkey were accepted by the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), formed in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The SCO “is better and more powerful, and we have common values with them,” Mr Erdogan declared.
If those values include squashing dissent, he has a point. At least 105 people have been indicted over the past year for alleged rudeness about the president. Mr Erdogan’s nervousness over a scandal implicating his son and sundry political allies has led to a shake-up in the judiciary and the police and to internet curbs.
He is expected to travel to Beijing on July 28th. And if this upsets any pious supporters, he can respond with a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad: “Seek knowledge, even in China.” [Source: Economist]
Turkish foreign policy is based on Capitalist utilitarian politics. So despite its nationalist roots, the ruling AK Party still seeks ways to improve relations with China, while its people of same nation is being persecuted with Chinese torture.