Turks Say No to the US and EU
Two and a half months have passed since the unsuccessful US-backed coup d’état attempt in Turkey. The goal was to overthrow the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, because of his tendency to pursue an independent foreign policy from the NATO and EU. His foreign policy vision is economically integrating Turkey with its neighbors and forming regional political alliances that benefit all sides, while on the other hand wanting an equal partnership with both the US and EU. Erdogan rejects the US and EU’s imposition of policies and instead wants multipolarity to create a more just and balanced world. Turkey’s refusal to join the economic embargo imposed on Russia and Iran has especially annoyed the US and EU.
The US perceived Turkey as a police station to be used after Turkey joined NATO in 1952. The US’s security priorities never took Turkey’s interests into consideration. For them, the weaker Turkey that usually accepted the demands of the US even though they were contrary to Turkish interests until 2002 was preferable. But the deterioration of US-Turkish relations was finalized when the Turkish Army launched a military operation in northern Syria to sweep out ISIS from the Turkish border with the consent of Russia. Ironically Turkey started the operation on August 24th, the day that US Vice-President Joe Biden visited Turkey. There is no doubt that the agreement between Russia and Turkey on the Syrian conflict aiming to preserve the territorial unity and shape the future of the country only relying on native forces, was concluded when Erdoğan visited Russia on August 9th.
The US’s essential target for partitioning Syria, a very classic US strategy of feeding instability in the Middle East by backing ethnic (YPG) and sectarian (Al-Nusra) groups, is about to be defeated by the newfound alliance between a NATO member, Turkey, and the US’s main rival, Russia!
The US’s arrogance and Russia’s endurance and prescience created a non-declared alliance between Russia and Turkey, which not only changed the balance of forces in Syria, but also the grand game for both the US and Eurasian powers.
The EU regards Turkey as a big market for EU products (%38 of Turkish imports) and as a buffer between the EU and Middle East countries. Among Europeans, just like meaningless Russophobia, Turkophobia is still very common. After the failed coup, instead of supporting the democratically elected legitimate government, the EU kept silent and mainstream European media heavily accused the Turkish President of planning a staged coup in order to consolidate his authoritarian power. Furthermore, by ignoring the asymmetric war ongoing in Eastern Turkey against separatists terrorists, the EU tried to force the Turkish government to soften its anti-terrorism law and delayed the non-visa regime for Turks. Meanwhile, the EU easily opened the gates for Ukrainians who are currently ruled by a “pro-European government.” Thus, during the opening ceremony of the Turkish Parliament on October 1st, Erdoğan stated that thirty years of negotiations on joining the EU were just a distraction and that the game with the EU has almost come to an end.
Turkey’s President and government, perceiving the future of the country as lying in Eurasian policies, are taking steps to reallocate the country’s positions. Nevertheless, after the founding of modern Turkey in 1923, the ruling elites and an important portion of the Turkish nation, as the descendants of a great empire that ruled more than six centuries, have considered Westernization as the main goal in order to reestablish a powerful state. Therefore, government institutions, economic structures, and military formations copied the US and EU. The Turkish people regarded the US and EU as allies and role models and hoped and believed that, one day in the future, their country would integrate into the Western axis.
The unsuccessful military coup on July 15th marked the end for these pro-Western dreams in Turkey. The US and EU’s support for the coup orchestrators awoke the Turkish people who came to consider the coup to be a direct foreign attack.
Anti-Americanism and anti-EU opinions skyrocketed. Last month, two opinion surveys on the US and EU were published by an independent research company and foundation. The opinion survey conducted by MAK Consulting focused on US-Turkey relations in the eyes of Turkish people. The results were shocking. Ninety percent of the survey participants regard the US as unreliable even though Turkey is a NATO member. This percentage was only 50% before the coup attempt. According to the CEO of the survey company, Turkish people think that they can defeat the US and, if martial law is not declared, then the US embassy might be attacked by angry citizens.
Another very interesting opinion survey was conducted by TAVAK (Turkey Europe Education and Science Research Foundation) on Turkey-EU relations. Only 22% of the participants believe that Turkey will gain access to full EU membership. Almost half of the participants suggested that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) offer a new path for Turkey instead of the EU. Unfortunately, 60% of the participants argue Islamophobia is the most important reason for the EU’s refusal to grant Turkey full membership.
It is very interesting that Muslim Turks saw their destiny in alliance with other non-Muslim countries (SCO & BRICS).
After the collapse of the bipolar world, we all witnessed a new phase of US-led imperialism disguised under magical but empty words (globalization, liberalism, humanitarianism, democracy and self-determination) which only aimed to spread US hegemony across the world contrary to all other nations’ interests. The US’s irresponsible and conceited goals no doubt will be defeated by the collaboration of the great nations of Eurasia. The end of history will come as the US’s Protestant ideology argues, but the US will not be the victorious one! Russia’s military intervention in Syria and the covert Russia-Turkey alliance to preserve the territorial unity of Syria has stopped US plans in the Middle East. As the Eurasian nations’ collaboration increases, we will see more US defeats in other regions of the world.