The US thinking about how to deal with Erdogan – Turkey’s next adventure turns into a crisis for NATO

Turkey was accepted into NATO because it gave the West an advantage in the Black Sea. Now it has more problems than good, and both American parties are demanding that the Trump administration take decisive action.

As News Front reported, at the end of September, a confrontation erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Turkey sided with the latter, sending fighters who had fought in Syria to the conflict zone.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had previously called on NATO to support another military adventure in Ankara. Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in turn, recommended that Turkey help resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, not unleash it. Ankara chose to ignore this.

The American magazine “Foreign Policy” writes that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made many enemies. For a politician who was already tried to be overthrown in 2016, such a burden can be costly. Nevertheless, he has caused dissatisfaction in the USA by buying Russian anti-aircraft missile systems. He pissed off European countries by making claims in the Mediterranean. He invaded Syrian Idlib and got involved in the Libyan confrontation.

All this, as the FP notes, makes you wonder where the red line is and how close Erdogan is to it. Probably closer than he would like, because the Democrats are already ready to deal with him if they take over the White House. Congress is already putting pressure on Trump’s administration to take decisive action, said one of the republican officials in the lower house of the US parliament.

“There is very deep concern and concern about where Turkey is going, and in particular where Erdogan is taking Turkey in all this”,  –  he told reporters.

This dissatisfaction is explained by the prospect of a serious crisis in NATO. Erdogan has already put the members of the alliance in a very awkward position. It’s come to the point that some of them have made a joint statement with Russia on the situation.

Through Turkey’s efforts, the Karabakh conflict could escalate into a broad regional confrontation, the article says. When Turkey and Israel have close relations with Azerbaijan, and Russia and Armenia are bound by defence obligations within the CSTO, the situation can get out of control. Against this background, Canada has already banned the supply of arms to Turkey, but “normal hand twisting may not work,” the FP writes. Then the crisis may ‘infect’ the North Atlantic Alliance, paralyzing its ability to make decisions about Russia or the Middle East. The fact is that NATO still has the principle of consensus. This means that a decision will not be made until it has the support of all members of the bloc.

“We still face a huge risk that bilateral disputes will be imported into NATO and block NATO’s ability to do business”, –  said Lauren Speranza, Director of Transatlantic Defence and Security at the European Policy Analysis Centre.

For decades, Turkey has justified its membership in NATO as “the gateway to the Black Sea and acts as a corridor to the Middle East,” the publication explains. But recently it has been abusing its position, says Rachel Rizzo, an American expert on transatlantic security.

“The United States and Europe know that Turkey is a better ally, just because that doesn’t mean that Turkey is not a pain in the ass”, –  she says.