The former Head of the Turkish Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff intelligence, retired Lieutenant General Ismail Hakki Pekin, has evaluated the latest developments throughout the world with Elif Ilhamoglu.
This ‘Strategic Compass’ will make Europe even more dependent on the US
How would you assess the EU’s “Strategic Compass” documents approved by the European Council on Foreign Relations on March 21st? What kind of strategy should Turkey develop against the disregard of its own rights in the Eastern Mediterranean by the EU?
Normally, this EU document should have analyzed the security architecture of Europe, but when we look at the reality, this is not the case at all. They have a vision of deploying a 5,000 strong task force for security. However, if they wish to act independently from the United States in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Balkans, they should immediately take Turkey at their side.
However, when we take a closer look at this document, we see that Turkey has been particularly left out. They do not want to include or involve Turkey, especially in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. If they had done their homework right, they would know they could take Turkey on their side, but they don’t seem to be interested in it. Therefore, in my opinion, the strategy presented in these documents is a crooked strategy right from the start.
In fact, this strategy actually strengthens the US dominance in the Atlantic and the Pacific. NATO is also scheduled to have various missions in the Asia-Pacific Theatre. In this case, it would be very difficult for the EU to establish its own defense agenda. Europe essentially needs Turkey for escape the grip of the US. Instead, they are trying to isolate Turkey out of the Eastern Mediterranean. They are still pursuing Turkophobic and Islamophobic political agendas. And it is quite unrealistic for the EU to ensure its own security and independence from the United States.
Bucha is a provocation of the West
How would you evaluate the images from Bucha? These came in the midst of the negotiations taking place in Istanbul and for the first time offering a meaningful progress between the delegations from Russia and Ukraine?
Until now, ‘psychological warfare’ has worked exactly in parallel with all wars. However, the ‘psychological warfare’ is used in a particularly intense way in this war. The Americans and the British do this especially well. There is no other news outlet in the Western world except the Western media itself. We see that the information from Russian sources is being heavily censored. And it is no coincidence that these images appeared in such a time – right after the negotiations in Istanbul. I think these images have two main purposes; The first is to further prolong the war, and the second is to try to prevent Turkey from playing an active mediator role.
First of all, it is in the interests of the US to prolong this war. In fact, they even aim to open up new fronts in the Central Asia and the Middle East and hinder Russia more. Therefore, this seems to be a part of a greater psychological war. Secondly, Turkey being an active mediator does not serve the purposes of the United States and Europe. Especially the Macron administration does not want Turkey to emerge out of this stronger. That is why the spreading of these images seems to be more like a provocation to me. And the goal here is to prevent the decisions that are agreed upon taken at the negotiations in Istanbul and also to prevent peace, prolong the war and to find a new mediator to replace Turkey in the negotiations.
Who would benefit from the attacks on Israel?
Four attacks occurred in Israel in the last month. While ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack made on March 27th, it was announced that the culprit of the incident made on March 22nd was also an ISIS sympathizer. Who do you think is behind all these attacks?
The purpose of these attacks is to provoke Israel, force it to take harsher measures, and to encourage it to take further actions against the Palestinians in Lebanon and around the region.
Who would benefit from these attacks? First of all, they would benefit Iran. Iran’s removal from Syria with recent agreements, cutting off the aid to Hezbollah in Lebanon and strengthening of Israel in the region are in question. The Abraham Accords is also a part of this greater trend. These attacks might be aimed to reinstate the need for Iran in the region, by provoking Israel and encouraging it to take actions against Palestinians and the Hezbollah in Lebanon.
On the other hand, these attacks could also benefit Israel. Israel can use these attacks as an excuse to launch military operations against the Iranian-backed militias. As you may know, Israel is quite disturbed with the nuclear deal with Iran. Saudi Arabia and Israel claim that the nuclear deal is enabling Iran to further strengthen its position and increase its dominance over the region. Therefore, they might want to drag Iran into a war to prevent the nuclear deal from going in action and to prevent it from gaining further strength.
We must take all these developments under a single formula. Every actor is trying to strengthen power in a certain region. And they are using the Palestinian people in this direction.