Judging by the thoughts the Turkish president puts forth in his new book “A Just Peace Is Possible”, he is aiming for nothing less than UN reform
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to the US in the second half of September. The details of the program of the visit have not been made public, but the local media describe the trip as “critical”.
Certainly Joe Biden has a lot to discuss with his colleague. It was supposed that Ankara, a NATO partner, would assume external control of the situation in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal. The Taliban, as we know, has firmly rejected any proposals for viceroys. Erdoğan is now out of the loop on this one. It is not a question of an eagle’s profile. But he will try to make up for it in one respect.
Reforms for the UN
Judging by the thoughts the Turkish president expresses in his new book “A Just Peace Is Possible”, he aims at nothing less than UN reform. It is no coincidence, of course, that the official part of his visit is devoted to his participation in the General Assembly. The Security Council is the primary focus of his plans for the reform of the organization. It seems unfair to Erdogan that only five countries have veto power. He would prefer to increase the number of such countries (you may have already guessed who, according to Recep Tayyip, is missing in the Council), or, in principle, to deprive anyone of such a right.
With one blow the Turkish leader is taking aim at all his main opponents on the world stage. Ankara has long tired of the patronage of the Americans and their traditional ally, Britain. In exchange for NATO membership, it has to pay with limited sovereignty. If you want to buy arms from Moscow instead of Washington, get sanctions.
Turkey and the world
The Turks have a special and long history of dislike for the French. Paris has always openly supported Armenia (although in the case of the recent conflict in Karabakh it did not risk to interfere).
The French factor is the main reason why Turkey has been humiliatingly marooned on the doorstep of the EU for years.
The election of a new NATO secretary general is approaching, but Ankara may not even bother. France has long made it clear that it will veto any candidate from Turkey. It is no secret that Erdoğan aspires to the post of the spokesman of not only Turkic but also of the entire Islamic world. This means he will push the Uyghur issue whenever possible to put pressure on China.
Finally, Russia is the country with which Erdogan’s interests have intersected most frequently in recent years. At one point in the Syrian crisis, the conflict threatened to escalate into a hot phase. At the same time, for the time being, Moscow has taken a rather restrained stance on how Turkey is pursuing its growing global ambitions. In one way or another, Turkey has been involved in all major military conflicts in the region: Syria, Libya, Iraq and Karabakh. It is interfering in the internal affairs of European states. It even supports separatist movements on the territory of Russia. Of course, Moscow cannot help noticing all this. But they also understand that no matter who comes to power in Turkey, its expansionist policy will remain unchanged.
Weapons for Turkey
And Erdogan? Well, the devil you know… The question is where is the red line that Moscow will not allow its southern neighbour to cross. Perhaps it is the arms trade. It seems to be a matter of principle. Not only has Ankara not rejected (as demanded by the US) the first batch of S-400, but it has announced that it will buy the second one by the end of the year.
Business is good, of course. All the more so in such a strategically important sector for Russia. But is it worth arming a potential adversary so heavily?
At the moment, Turkey, always ready to use force in any conflict, sponsoring hotbeds of destabilization in Northern Cyprus and Crimea, is one of the main threats to world security. And such a country is running for a reformed UN Security Council. 100 years ago, another mustachioed gentleman, who considered his country unfairly disadvantaged, undermined the Versailles system. Let’s hope the lessons of history have been learned.
Christian B. Malaparte, RenTVFearing freezing this winter, the Baltics have recalled their Soviet heritage