While tensions around the Ukraine are continuing, United World International expert Mehmet Perinçek gave an interview to the Russian news outlet VZGLYAD about Ukraine’s NATO membership, Turkey’s position and Turkish – Russian relations.
Below we present the interview as published by VZGLYAD. Subheadings were set by UWI.
“If Ukraine joins NATO, this may mean its death as a state, since the alliance will provoke it against its neighbor, Russia. However, the conflict with neighbors will not allow Ukraine to develop. It will face eternal decline,” Turkish political scientist Mehmet Perinçek told the VZGLYAD newspaper. Earlier, Turkish politicians said that the expansion of NATO at the expense of Ukraine and Georgia would harm the interests of not only Russia, but also of Turkey.
Preparations for the visit of Vladimir Putin have begun in Ankara. As presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın promised on Monday, the exact date of the Russian guest’s arrival will be made known in the coming days. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic noted that Turkey may become the next country after China, which Putin will visit. As the VZGLYAD newspaper wrote on Monday, the Chairman of the Turkish Vatan (Patriotic) Party, Doğu Perinçek, saw a special meaning in Putin’s route – “a road map not only for the region, but also for the world, aimed at mutual understanding.”
Perinçek also called on Ankara to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia in exchange for Moscow’s recognition of the independence of Northern Cyprus. The politician called the decision of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to supply combat drones to Ukraine a mistake. In addition, the party leader warned that the expansion of NATO at the expense of Ukraine and Georgia risks harming the Turkish people themselves. Incidentally, the Chinese Foreign Ministry again spoke out against NATO expansion on Tuesday.
Mehmet Perinçek, Doctor of Historical Sciences and visiting professor at Moscow State University, discusses why politicians in the NATO countries themselves oppose the expansion of the alliance in an interview with the VZGLYAD newspaper.
Mr. Perinçek, do you agree with Doğu Perinçek’s opinion that NATO’s eastward expansion harms the alliance in general and Turkey in particular?
Yes. The fact is that Turkey is still legally a member of NATO, but de facto has already become a target of the bloc. We have serious problems with the US and other members of the North Atlantic Alliance. Washington, in fact, created an anti-Turkish bloc in the eastern Mediterranean, which included Greece, South Cyprus and France. In this region, these countries are directly against the interests of Ankara, although they formally remain to be our allies. They even conduct naval exercises threatening Turkey. The Americans are directly pushing Greece against us. It is no coincidence that the Pentagon has placed its bases in Greece, near the Turkish border.
In addition, the Americans support Kurdish separatists and terrorists. They are trying to create a Greater Kurdistan in what is now Syria and Iraq. They also patronize the Gülenists (the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has recognized the movement of supporters of Fethullah Gülen as a terrorist movement – VZGLYAD). The latter organized a military coup in our country in 2016, and the leader of this movement continues to live in peace in the United States. In addition, we oppose the United States in the South Caucasus. Let me remind you that Azerbaijan and Turkey liberated Karabakh a year ago, against the wishes of the United States and France, which supported the Armenians in that war.
NATO surrounds Russia and Turkey at the same time
Therefore, when we see how NATO wants to surround Russia – both in the Black Sea and from the territory of Ukraine, we conclude that on that way, the forces of the alliance are also surrounding the Turks.
The US has a common strategy, which is served in all of its tactics. Therefore, the very appearance of American troops on the northern coast of the Black Sea will harm our interests. True, many say: “Yes, let them enter Ukraine!” As if to say that while the Americans behave badly in Syria, in Ukraine they will for some reason be “good”. But this is not the case.
Would the alliance benefit from Ukraine’s entry?
I would ask another question – does Ukraine need this? If Ukraine joins the bloc, it may mean its death as a state, since the alliance will provoke her against her neighbor – Russia. And being in conflict with its neighbors, Kiev cannot develop, it will be in constant decline, good examples of this are seen in the fates of Georgia and Armenia.
When countries turn into a mere tool of external forces, this harms, first of all, these countries themselves. Ukrainians will live forever on their own land, and the Americans will remain overseas. Wars with the Russians, which the United States can incite the Ukrainians to, will only harm the interests of the Ukrainian people.
Ukraine and Georgia should consider that NATO is losing dominance
What about NATO itself? Ypu have to understand that it has no future. It is torn apart by conflicts. What is France alone worth!? It was no coincidence that Macron spoke about the “brain death” of NATO; most of his rivals in the upcoming presidential elections, both the right-wing Zemmour and the left-wing Mélenchon, also oppose the policy of the alliance. Marine Le Pen even promises to take the country out of the bloc if she is elected president. NATO is not advancing but, on the contrary, losing its dominant role. This is not an ideal option for the future of Ukraine.
Georgia should also think about it. It wants to become a US foothold in the Transcaucasus, and again, in my opinion, this is not in the interests of the Georgian people. Tbilisi, like Kiev, should link its fate with its neighbors, with regional countries, but it refused to participate in the 3 + 3 platform proposed by Ankara, since Georgia wants to get into the alliance. By the way, if it were a member of NATO at the time of the Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan and Turkey, most likely, would not have been able to win in Karabakh.
Why? It is well known that during the hostilities Georgia refused to let military cargo pass for Armenia. That is, they did not help the Armenians, although they generally focus on NATO.
Yes, you can’t call Georgia and Armenia allies, but that’s different. Americans dictate their rules wherever they go. If American bases had already been stationed on Georgian territory, if the United States had given an order, Georgia would have carried it out. And in this case, the Americans would directly support Yerevan by starting the supply of weapons there. This is another confirmation that NATO expansion directly contradicts the interests of Turkey, Russia, Iran and even China.
This is a global confrontation – and China has a legitimate place in it
And what does China have to do with it? Geographically, it is far away from Europe and the US.
Geography is no longer important when there is confrontation all over the world between aggressors (America and its partners) and those who suffer from this aggression. It is worth remembering another military alliance – AUKUS, formed by the US, Britain and Australia. Russia and China opposed it. And pay attention: Moscow does not say that these countries are far away, just as Beijing does not say that Ukraine is far from it, because everyone understands that we are talking about a global confrontation.
In this respect, the Black Sea problem is not only a problem for Russia and Turkey, but also for China. The Taiwan issue is not only a concern of China. Greater Kurdistan would be used to act not only against Turkey, but also against Russia, if created. All countries suffering from American aggression must join forces to contain it.
How does NATO expansion threaten Iran?
I believe that the Americans still want to destroy the government in Tehran. This is not an empty hypothesis: as you remember, a few years ago they killed General Soleimani.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning the importance of the Astana process. Let me remind you: these are peace negotiations with the participation of Russia, Turkey, Iran and the two sides of the intra-Syrian conflict, the purpose of which is to end the war. In my opinion, this process proved that the countries of a particular region can decide their internal affairs themselves, rather than under the dictate of Washington. Even the Ukrainian crisis can be resolved if the American intervention is stopped.
Polls show that majority of Turkish people prefer cooperation with Russia and China over that with the West
Are anti-American and anti-NATO sentiments growing in Turkish society?
We recently conducted public opinion polls and got surprising results: the majority of Turkish people are in favor of cooperation with Russia and China, and very few are in favor of cooperation with America. This is facilitated by an internal split in NATO: the French say one thing, the Germans want another, the Americans make their own plans. But the main thing is that the alliance itself is no longer needed. It was created against the USSR, and now there is no longer the Soviet Union, nor communism, nor the Warsaw Pact. NATO has lost its internal logic.
Today it is simply an organization through which Washington imposes its will on its allies and keeps control over them.
Cyprus and Crimea
Doğu Perinçek urges Moscow to recognize an independent Northern Cyprus in exchange for Ankara’s recognition of the Russian status of Crimea. How likely is this scenario?
I think this is the only way out of the situation for you and us. After such a mutual decision, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea will become a united front in the fight against US influence. We need to cooperate so we don’t get surrounded. If we sit at the negotiating table and raise these issues, Russia and Turkey will be able to find a common language.
Do you agree that the supply of Bayraktar drones to Ukraine is a mistake that will ultimately play against Ankara itself?
Yes. What Ukraine needs now is not Bayraktars, but to rid itself of Washington’s influence. If Turkey wants to help the Ukrainian people, then it must advise or even impose on Kiev a policy of reconciliation with Moscow. We can play the role of an intermediary, we must help deter aggression from Kiev – the aggressive ideology of Atlanticism. By selling Bayraktars, on the contrary, one can only provoke aggression.
Fortunately, the era of Atlanticism is coming to an end. As Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping emphasized in their joint statement, we live at the dawn of the Eurasian era. America is losing its leading role, it no longer has the strength. It cannot easily enforce regime change in different countries at will. Defeat in Afghanistan and the failure of the “color revolution” in Kazakhstan are only two examples. Therefore, NATO has no future. It is not clear if the bloc will even exist in 20 years.