Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made his most unambiguous statement to date on how far Turkey would go in opposing the creation of a Kurdish state on Syrian territory.
Erdogan then issued a thinly veiled warning at the United States which has strongly allied with Turkey’s Kurdish enemies in Syria.
“In case of even the slightest threat against our country, we will do what’s necessary without consulting anyone”.
Erdogan also stated,
“Nowadays, there is some negative progress in Syria. If that would cause any threat to our borders, the world should know that we would react the same as we did in Operation Euphrates Shield”.
The clear meaning here is that if the US supports the creation of a Kurdish state on Syrian territory adjacent to Turkey, Erdogan will act without consulting the United States in spite of being a NATO member.
Turkey sees the creation of any Kurdish state on its borders as a manifest threat to Turkey’s security. This is not a policy unique to Erdogan. Any Turkish leader would feel the same. This more or less destroys the principles of the NATO charter that says an attack on a NATO member state must be regarded as an attack on all NATO states. With Turkey and the US totally at odds over the Kurdish question, the idea that NATO can truly function as a collective security unit is now myth that has been fully shattered.
What’s even more worrying is how little the United States seems to care about alienating a long-term ally which is now in an increasingly adversarial position vis-a-vis the United States.