The Azerbaijan site caliber.az featured expert opinions on the former US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s published article on Türkiye-NATO relations. We present the evaluations of United World International author Mehmet Perinçek and associate professor at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) at Uppsala University (Sweden), Greg Simons, translated from Russian, to our readers.
Last week, former US national security adviser John Bolton voiced harsh criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an article titled “NATO’s Electoral Message for Erdogan” in The Wall Street Journal.
The alliance should exclude Türkiye from NATO if the Turkish president does harm, he said, stressing that the country is a member of NATO but does not act like an ally. Therefore, it was necessary to raise the issue of Türkiye’s exclusion from NATO, stated Boltın.
It is interesting whether such a pushing of Türkiye out of NATO, which Bolton is talking about, is even possible? Is it in the interests of the West that one of the strongest armies on the planet leave the Alliance? How can these statements of the American politician be characterized?
Well-known foreign experts shared their assessment of these events with Caliber.Az.
According to Mehmet Perinçek, a Turkish political scientist, doctor of historical sciences, a visiting researcher at the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University, there is currently a serious strategic confrontation between Türkiye and NATO.
Western block interested in “weakening Turkish economy”
“The Alliance and its members support terrorist forces in both Iraq and Syria that threaten the territorial integrity of Türkiye. They supply them with weapons and even consider the PKK and other terrorist organizations associated with it to be their ground forces and strategic allies in our region. The confrontation between Türkiye and NATO is also observed in the Eastern Mediterranean. The United States and other countries of the Alliance have created an anti-Turkish bloc, openly oppose Türkiye’s interests, and even conduct appropriate military exercises. Problems between Türkiye and Greece are also caused by this confrontation. Therefore, NATO is the main national threat to Türkiye”, Perinçek said.
In his opinion, the countries of the bloc are interested in weakening the Turkish economy.
“NATO means the dominance of the dollar within our country and our region. And this domination destroys the influence and sovereignty of the Turkish lira within the country. This is also a great danger for the Turkish economy and, of course, for Türkiye’s security.
On the other hand, the alliance staged an attempted military coup using the Gülenists and NATO generals in the Turkish army. Today, NATO countries have become nests for Gülenists and separatists who openly oppose Türkiye and even fight against its army. Based on this, we can say that NATO sees Türkiye as a strategic enemy. Even during their exercises, meetings, they use photographs of Atatürk and Erdoğan as enemies of the alliance. There was such a scandal, you remember. And it was not a mistake or a misunderstanding. This is reality. The source of this problem is not Türkiye, but the NATO strategy”, Perinçek believes.
Türkiye is one of the main barriers to US and NATO plans because it has a powerful army, statehood traditions, and rich natural resources, he says.
For NATO, Türkiye is no longer quite an ally
“On the other hand, the geopolitical and geographical position of Türkiye is important for the plans of the US and NATO, and without the destruction of Türkiye’s statehood, they cannot realize their plans in our region. Because of this, and all the described problems. They are strategic. For NATO, Türkiye is no longer quite an ally.
Therefore, Türkiye’s membership in the alliance cannot serve the interests of its national security. I think that Türkiye should itself withdraw from NATO in order to ensure its territorial integrity, energy security, and develop its economy. It can achieve these goals only in cooperation with other countries that suffer from the actions of NATO countries. That is, we need to cooperate with neighboring states – Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia, China, the Turkic states, Pakistan. They must join forces to thwart US and NATO plans. NATO membership is no longer the solution to Türkiye’s security problems. To balance the threats, it needs to be included in other, regional associations. Withdrawal from NATO coincides with the moods and desires of the Turkish people. There are various opinion polls that prove that the Turkish people see the US as an enemy. And he sees the Eurasian countries as the main partners”, the Turkish researcher concluded.
Simons: Bolton is a “reckless warmonger”
Associate professor at the IRES at Uppsala University, Greg Simons, said he sees Bolton as a reckless warmonger who believes that the United States can dictate demands, as it did at the height of its power.
“Bolton is arrogant, and world events have passed him by, which makes him dangerous for the United States. Even Trump, with his flaws, could not tolerate Bolton’s arrogance and reckless incompetence forever, eventually firing him. This advertisement through a symbolic demonstration seems to be an attempt to get back into the system.
Bolton’s public statements can be seen as an indirect attempt to threaten Türkiye into obedience. One of the reasons for this move is that the current structure of NATO will not allow this threat to be carried out legally. However, the West and the rule of law are no longer a problem for the so-called ‘correct’ order. So this could be an attempt to scare Türkiye with a bluff. However, I don’t see Erdoğan and Turkiye bowing to this crude pressure tactic”, says Simons.
If Bolton somehow succeeded in doing this supremely stupid act, it would be a real disaster for NATO, he believes.
“The bloc would not only lose a large army, but also a country that has the highest strategic position in terms of current events in geopolitics. That would be a big own goal on a big scale.
So even if Bolton rants and rages, perhaps those in power will understand the sheer self-destructive stupidity of this idea. In any case, the statements of this politician should simply be ignored”, Simons said.