What happened to the Islamic Military Alliance?
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli heavily reproached NATO in his parliamentary group meeting on May 30.
We are the second biggest army of the alliance, we have been partners for half a century and as far as I understand, our relationship with the alliance is giving crisis signals.
Doesn’t this proclamation show that the alarm bells are ringing: “It is as if it is challenging our country; it is absolute insolence to ignore a partnership and membership of 65 years … Is NATO that cheap?”
What bothers Bahçeli is that NATO is joining the war in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Well, why has this made Bahçeli hyper-vigilant as if a danger was approaching? Why did it annoy him; why did it give him such deep anxiety?
What prompted Bahçeli to an early reaction is the thought that the outlawed Kurdistan Peoples’ Party (PKK) and NATO will be on the same side. They will look as if they are side by side, as if they are arm in arm in the fight against ISIL, as if they are comrades in arms, as if they are fighting on the same front.
It will look as if the NATO of Turkey is uniting forces with the PKK via the People’s Protection Units (YPG), forming an alliance and conducting a joint operation. This is why the MHP leader is questioning the decisions reached at the Brussels summit that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended. The fact that NATO is only focusing on ISIL is increasing doubts and concerns, Bahçeli said. “For NATO to join the Raqqa operation will mean, if not support in some way to the PKK-YPG, then turning a blind eye to its actions and aims.”
Well, if this NATO is not reliable, then is an alternative Muslim NATO reliable? If the “Crusader” West alliance cannot be relied upon, could an Islamic alliance be relied upon?
I mean, remember… An Islamic Military Alliance was formed, led by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. A giant exercise was conducted last year lasting three weeks – 20 allied countries participated in the show of strength. Some 200,000 elite troops took part in the war games named “The Northern Thunder.”
The enemy was not only ISIL, but all terror networks in the region, with the PKK also included in this common enemy. A joint headquarters would be set up in Riyadh and the jihad against ISIL in Iraq and Syria would be conducted from there, while there would also be land operations if necessary. The fate of the region would not be left to the cutthroat designs of the United States, Russia and Iran.
One year has passed since the military exercises; we have not heard anything from the Islamic Army. Not even one military initiative has been heard of. In the Mosul operations, Shiites were heard of, but not them.
Now, the march to Raqqa is about to start; the U.S., Russia, Bashar al-Assad, NATO and the YPG are there, but there is no word of the Muslim NATO.
It was not seen anywhere near or far when Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield operation. The Northern Thunder blew and roared but did it rain when it was time to rain?
As if this pacifism was not enough, each time Turkey took matters into its own hands, the Arab League opposed Ankara. They were the harshest in opposing our military camp at Bashiqa in Iraq. They regarded is as a threat to Arab national security. They agreed with Iran and Russia to form four safe zones in Syria. But when it comes to Turkey, they cry that Turkey is a threat to Syria’s unity; they voice concerns.
This is the Arab League of Saudis and the Gulf States, which we stand side by side in the so called Muslim NATO.
Bahçeli bashed NATO because it has befriended YPG and turned its barrel only at ISIL, not there PKK. On the other hand, there is the Islamic Army, which has not raised a hand even against even ISIL, which all members see as a threat, let alone the PKK. What would you say to that?
Don’t we have anything else to do to avoid being left without an alliance, while seeking an alternative NATO and maybe losing the NATO at hand? Don’t we even have a Syrian policy to review?