AuthorTopic: Turkey thread  (Read 121 times)

Offline Palloy2

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Turkey thread
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:07:47 PM »
Turkey is playing awkward.

https://www.rt.com/news/425966-turkey-retaliation-us-weapons/
Turkey will 'retaliate' if US halts weapon sales over purchase of Russian arms – Ankara
6 May, 2018

In a deepening rift between two major NATO allies, Turkey says it will retaliate if Washington stops the sale of US weapons over Ankara's decision to buy Russian military hardware. Such a move would be "wrong" and "illogical."

"If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such a step, Turkey will absolutely retaliate," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN Turk. "What needs to be done is the US needs to let go of this."

"Turkey is not a country under your orders, it is an independent country… speaking to such a country from above, dictating what it can and cannot buy, is not a correct approach and does not fit our alliance," he said, referring to the fact that both countries are part of NATO.

The notion of halting weapons sales has been put forward by lawmakers in the US House of Representatives through the proposed US National Defense Authorization Act. The latter would ask the defense department to provide Congress with a report on the relationship between the US and Turkey and would block the sale of major defense equipment until the report is complete.

This move could throw a spanner in the works for Turkey as it plans to buy more than 100 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jets. It is also in talks with Washington over the purchase of Patriot missiles.

Cavusoglu said he plans to travel to Washington next week to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who previously said he was concerned over Ankara's decision to buy the Russian S-400 missile batteries.

The foreign minister's comments come after US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Thursday that Washington has "serious concerns about Turkey's potential acquisition" of S-400 anti-aircraft systems.

Nauert added that NATO countries are only supposed to buy weapons and other materiel that are "interoperable with other NATO partners."

In April, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell warned that the decision to buy Russian military hardware exposed Turkey to the possibility of sanctions. He added that it may bar Ankara from receiving any F-35 jets under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which is mainly aimed at hindering Russian arms exports.

Mitchell strayed from the usual "interoperable with NATO equipment" justification, instead stating that it was "in the American national interest to see Turkey remain strategically and politically aligned with the West." He specifically noted his disapproval that Ankara had "increased its engagement with Russia and Iran."

Responding to Mitchell's comments, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the US threats as "a typical example of attempted blackmail" with the intention of giving US companies an "unfair advantage in market competition."

The deal between Turkey and Russia was signed in December. Deliveries of the S-400 systems to Turkey are scheduled to start in 2020. However, following talks with Cavusoglu in March, Lavrov stated that Moscow is ready to speed up the process.

Cavusoglu's Sunday remarks come amid increased tensions between the US and Turkey, particularly over Ankara's Operation Olive Branch, which was launched against Kurdish fighters in Afrin on January 20. A war of words broke out after the top US commander in the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) said that Turkey would face a sharp response if it struck Manbij, Syria as part of its operation.

"It is obvious that those who say they will 'give a sharp response' if they were hit have not been hit by the Ottoman slap," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in response. His words referenced a Turkish martial arts move that involves an open-palm hit, resulting in a one-hit knockout or even skull fractures and death.

The relationship between Washington and Ankara also hit a speed bump in October, when Turkey arrested a US consulate worker for alleged ties to exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for a failed coup attempt in 2016. Ankara has criticized the US for failing to extradite Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, while Western governments have slammed Turkey for its post-coup crackdown.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Online Eddie

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Re: Turkey thread
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 06:54:06 AM »
Erdogan would love to have a nuke. Just a matter of time, I'd imagine.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Turkey thread
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 07:02:30 AM »
Any evidence behind that imagination?, or was it just a throw-away line?
"The State is a body of armed men."

Online Eddie

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Re: Turkey thread
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 08:03:29 AM »
It's my opinion, based on his behavior.

(A)He's busy playing both sides to the middle.

(B) He's turned Turkey into a dictatorship and consolidated his power. It appears to me he's trying to get ahead of the rising Muslim religious extremism. Not that different than Trump playing to the Christian Right here.

(C) He appears tired of eating NATO's shit.

(D) He is flexing his military muscles in a variety of ways.

(E) The nuke genie is out of the bottle. If Pakistan can get one, and NK can get one, I'm sure Erdogan could conceivably get one.

If that constitutes a "throw-away line" (whatever that is), so be it. It's an observation. I'm not trying to convince you or anybody else, so I don't give a rat's ass.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Turkey thread
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 06:08:29 PM »
That's better.  You could also include the apparent US attempt at another military coup, and the refusal to extradite puppet-in-waiting Gulen to Turkey.  Or the possibility that Turkey WANTS to get out of buying the squadron of F-35 because they're crap and very expensive.

Quote
I'm not trying to convince you or anybody else, so I don't give a rat's ass.

Why respond at all then? Because this is supposed to be an intelligent discussion of doom events.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Turkey thread
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 12:20:36 AM »
Seeking to pressure Turkey to buy their air defense systems by not selling them F-35s, will not work - Russia will sell him their planes instead, and Turkey will end up leaving NATO.

https://www.rt.com/usa/427062-lawmakers-bill-f35-ban-turkey/
US lawmakers seek to ban sales of F-35s to 'hostile & thuggish' Turkey
18 May, 2018

American lawmakers have introduced a new bipartisan bill seeking to ban F-35 deliveries to an "increasingly hostile and authoritarian" Turkey, partly because of Ankara's decision to purchase Russia's missile defense systems.

Seeking to pressure Turkey into behaving in a manner worthy of NATO "standards," and to limit sharing of the alliance's assets with "hostile actors," Democratic Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline introduced a bipartisan 'Ban F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Sales to Turkey Act' on Thursday.

Fearing that Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is growing "increasingly hostile and authoritarian by the day," US lawmakers are calling for a complete ban on the sale or transfer of F-35 aircraft, as well as intellectual property and technical data, to Turkey. Any potential transfers of the multirole stealth fighters would only be possible if the US president certifies that Ankara is not "taking steps to degrade NATO interoperability, exposing NATO assets to hostile actors, or degrading the general security of NATO member countries."

Another three proposed conditions for the transfer of the fifth-generation warplanes include US presidential assurances that Ankara is not seeking to "purchase defense articles from a foreign country with respect to which sanctions are imposed by the United States," jail US citizens, or participate in "military action" which violates international law.

Turkey has been seeking to purchase 116 F-35 units under the Joint Strike Fighter program deals signed in 2014 and 2016. However, the first deliveries of Lockheed Martin planes, slated for 2018-2019, were jeopardized by the growing rift between Washington and Ankara on a number of issues – including Turkey's military operation in Syria and its decision to purchase Russian S-400 air-defense systems.

NATO countries fear that simultaneously operating both S-400s and F-35s could compromise the multi-billion-dollar program and expose its vulnerabilities, since Turkey seeks to combine all information systems on the F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighters with the Turkish Air Forces' system network.

"We cannot turn a blind eye to Turkey's thuggish, reprehensible behavior," said Cicilline, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "There has to be consequences for any regime that commits such horrific human rights abuses and constantly steps out of line with our own interests. Banning the sale of these state-of-the-art weapons to Turkey is just common sense. It's important that we hold NATO members to the same standard we would hold any other country."

One of the co-sponsors of Thursday's bill, Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) is also seeking bi-partisan support for 'Relocating US Nuclear Weapons from Turkey Review Act of 2018,' which has yet to be introduced in Congress. Under NATO nuclear sharing, the US keeps around 180 B61 nuclear gravity bombs in Europe, including around 50 at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The other five sites are in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy. In a letter addressed to US lawmakers, the congressman argues that storing some 50 nukes in Turkey is dangerous and illogical.

"Storing US nuclear weapons in Turkey no longer makes sense," Bilirakis wrote. "Turkey doesn't even have aircraft for delivering them. They would if the United States foolishly sells F-35 aircraft to Turkey, as I have opposed. Turkey is deepening political, economic, and military ties to Russia and China, the two countries the F-35 is most needed to deter and, if necessary, counter."

The hotly discussed Turkey-Russia deal may signal closer relations between both nations, as well as a growing rift between Ankara and its NATO allies, mainly the US. Washington has repeatedly relayed its “concerns” to Turkish officials regarding the S-400 potential purchase. On one occasion, US Defense Secretary James Mattis noted that S-400s are “not going to be interoperable with NATO systems.”

Earlier in April, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell warned that Ankara’s decision to buy Russia’s advanced complexes exposes Turkey to possible US sanctions and may bar it from getting F-35 jets. “Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions” under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), he said. The document was signed back in August 2017 and is mostly aimed at hindering Russian arms exports.

Earlier this week, the House Armed Services Committee advanced a defense authorization bill, which seeks to ban "major defense equipment" transfers to Turkey. The document notes that S-400 sales "could negatively impact common weapon system development between the United States and Turkey" and "exacerbate current interoperability challenges with respect to common military architecture and information sharing."
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Turkey thread
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2018, 12:39:21 AM »
This article is a month old, but something I missed.

https://www.rt.com/business/424670-gold-turkey-repatriation-dollar/
Turkey repatriates gold from US in bid to ditch dollar
20 Apr, 2018

Ankara has decided to bring back all its gold stored in the US Federal Reserve, according to Turkish media. In recent years, Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, and 28.7 tons was brought back from the US last year.

Turkey’s gold reserves are estimated at 564 tons and are worth about $20 billion, Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported. This makes Ankara the 11th largest gold holder, behind the Netherlands and ahead of India. The reports come at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken a tough stance against the US currency.

This week he criticized dollar loans and said that international loans should be given in gold instead. "Why do we make all loans in dollars? Let’s use another currency. I suggest that the loans should be made based on gold,” Erdoğan said during a speech at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Istanbul on April 16, according to Hurriyet.

“With the dollar the world is always under exchange rate pressure. We should save states and nations from this exchange rate pressure. Gold has never been a tool of oppression throughout history,” he added.

On April 11, the Turkish lira hit a record low against the dollar.

Turkey is among several countries which have been moving gold from the US. The wave began in 2012, when Venezuela announced it was repatriating 160 tons of gold, valued at around $9 billion. Germany’s Bundesbank then demanded 300 tons be returned, with the Fed saying it would take seven years to do so. The Netherlands has also repatriated 122.5 tons of gold.

“The central banks started the repatriation already a few years ago, meaning before we had Brexit, Catalonia, Trump, AFD or the rising tensions between the Politburo in Brussels and the nations of Eastern Europe,” Claudio Grass of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland told RT.

According to him, the world is becoming less centralized. “If we follow this trend, it should be obvious that the next step should be an even bigger break up into smaller units than the nation state. With such geopolitical fragmentation comes also the decentralization of power.”
"The State is a body of armed men."

 

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