Friday, August 12, 2016

The Looming Divorce


Turkey Is No Longer a Reliable Ally. “The failed coup was a clarifying moment. Ankara and Washington don’t share values or interests.

As NATO and Turkey seem to be inching closer and closer to a divorce, the drive for an independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq grows stronger and gains more traction and support in the international level. In time, Irbil seems likely to become the possible location for a new U.S. base substituting for the one in Incirlik which is fast becoming a lost cause. The United States has options, but Erdogan is making his worst nightmare come true. An independent Kurdistan in northern Iraq is not a threat to a Turkey that is a member of NATO. If Turkey is not, Kurdish-majority areas in Turkey are bound to heat up even more than they are now. A new proxy war involving Russia, the U.S., Turkey, Iraq and Iran might emerge, with the fiercest fights taking place on Turkish soil.

Erdogan is letting his ego trump his better judgment. A decade ago, he wouldn’t have made such miscalculations. This is why staying in power for such long time is a bad idea. But Turkey doesn't need a coup d'etat. What it needs is a political shakedown of sorts, one designed not necessarily to oust Erdogan from office but to help reign in his worst tendencies. Erdogan should not be allowed to become an imperial president. His ego needs to be content with a ceremonial presidency if Turkey is to be saved from implosion and fragmentation.