NATO leaves Turkey alone

Alwaght- As it was expected, the NATO in its urgent has voiced support for Turkey following the downing of the Russian fighter jet by the Turkish F16s. However, the news reports suggest that there are serious disaccords among the NATO members concerning supporting Turkey, because they are not interested to get involved in Russian-Turkish dispute.

Yesterday, the Russian officials took severe stances against Ankara, accusing the Turkish leaders of backing the terrorist groups. “Shooting down the Russian SU-24 by Turkey would have serious consequences on Ankara”, warned Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian Prime Minister, on Wednesday. Medvedev threatened that the downing of the Russian bomber could lead into cancelling the Ankara-Moscow joint projects.

Medvedev added that Turkey was the backer of terrorism, and that was no surprise, because the Turkish government had direct interests in the profits of ISIS oil sales. Insisting that Russia would keep pounding the ISIS’ positions in Syria, Dmitry Poskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, on Wednesday has doubted that Ankara was serious in its intention and will to participate in fight against the terrorist organization ISIS.

In a press conference on the Russian bomber downed by Turkish air force, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister has said that Moscow would essentially review ties with Turkey, as the Russians would make no visits to Turkey and no Turkish officials would be allowed to visit Moscow. Lavrov added that Russia had no war with Turkey, and it would keep on relations with the Turkish people, but after the recent developments there must be no anticipation that the relations between the two countries would go as ever. He added that Moscow would reconsider ties and trade with Turkey.

Planned targeting

The Russians have accused Turkey of shooting the Russian SU-24 bomber with a previous plan. The Turks several times had demanded establishing a safe zone near their borders with Syria and their action against the Russian jet was in line with that Turkish intention, Lavrov said, calling the Turkish move as intentional. Lavrov added that earlier such incidents took place near Turkish borders and the Russian fighter jets entered Turkey’s airspace for some seconds by mistake but it did not lead into air clashes.

He also said that the Russians could ensure that the Russian bomber did not violate the Turkish airspace. He argued that when a Turkish jet was targeted by Syria, Erdogan, who was prime minister at the time, condemned the Syrian army’s action saying that it was not justifiable to shoot down a country’s fighter just because it entered another country’s airspace for some seconds.

Lavrov wondered how now Turkey took the same action and defended it. Sergey Lavrov also said that he called the Turkish Foreign Minister asking him if Americans accepted the Turkish claims that the Russian jet had entered Turkey’s airspace. However, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had no answer, Lavrov asserted. The analysts also confirm the substantiality of Russian FM’s remarks. Thomas McInerney, the US air force’s retired general, suggested that the downing of the Russian SU-24 could be a preplanned move designed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to create a gap between NATO and Russia.

Talking to Fox News, McInerney emphasized that the attack was previously designed by Erdogan, the aim of which was to stir tension between Russia and NATO and thwart any potential cooperation between them on Syria because Ankara was opposed to Washington supporting the Kurdish militant fighters.

NATO would not stand for Turkey

Reiterating its previous stances about supporting Turkey and its right for defending its borders, NATO has asked Russia and Turkey to de-escalate more tensions. Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, said in a press conference that in current situation there was a need for calm and de-escalation. Diplomacy and de-escalation were both significant to solve the issue, added Stoltenberg.

Asking for more dialogue between Moscow and Ankara to settle the situation, Stoltenberg said that international community should prevent such incidents from taking place again. Although NATO tried to take a united position supporting Turkey, the reports suggest serious differences existed between the military organization’s members over the Turkish action of shooting down the Russian plane.

“We know that the statement recited by NATO’s Secretary General was not agreed upon by all members”, said the Russian FM.  Lavrov said that there was an unfavorable assessment of the Turkish performance by NATO’s members, but the cohesive unity (of the members), which is always known, dominated the statement. RT news quoted the diplomatic resources as saying that following the NATO urgent meeting on downing the Russian fighter by Turkey, the members failed to show a unanimous support for Ankara.

The resources also added that there was a serious concern about the Turkish behavior, as they disagreed about the place where the plane crashed. Also quoting a resource close to NATO, RT said that there was serious difference while the members were discussing the downed Russian SU- 24, and some representatives were conservative and laconic about the Turkish complaint.

Additionally, Reuters has quoted the Turkish representative at the NATO meeting as saying that while none of the 28 members have obviously supported Russia, some of them expressed concerns over Turkish fighters for not escorting the Russian bomber out of Turkish airspace. Some European leaders’ remarks indicate that they are not willing to engage themselves in the crisis.

Talking in the country’s parliament, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has implicitly blamed Turkey for the move, saying that following the Turkish shooting down of the Russian plane the situation has become complicated further, but everybody owned the right to defend himself in the face of aggression. Merkel added that Turkey should have refrained from any action which could worsen the situation.

The Americans ostensibly highlighted Turkey’s right to defend its borders, but noting that the Russian fighter was shot down in the Syrian airspace, they in a way denied the Turkish claims. The US media quoted an American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the information confirmed that the plane was targeted over Syrian airspace.

Meanwhile, holding a video conference with reporters, Colonel Steve Warren, the US army’s spokesman who was in Baghdad, has said that it was not yet clear that the Russian fighter which was downed by Turkey on Tuesday was flying in which side of Turkey-Syria border and analyzing the data and reaching a conclusion would take some time. Meantime, the US officials have said that the Russian fighter had entered in Turkish airspace only for 17 seconds. The analysts suggest that the US stances indicate that Turkey made the move without coordination with the US.

By Alwaght