Let’s not get into Syria relying on NATO

Let’s not get into Syria relying on NATO

All plans necessary to protect and defend Turkey are ready, said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO. We all gave him a standing ovation. According to some experts, NATO had given its green light and is ready to fight alongside Turkey.

God save us from ignorant experts.

I spent 20 years covering NATO in Brussels. There is no question of NATO giving armed support to Turkey through its European members, without the consent and physical participation of Washington. The Secretary General made a gesture to Turkey as an ally, gave us moral boost, and said what we needed to hear. But we need to stop here, let’s not fool ourselves.

The Foreign Ministry and the Chief of General Chief know better, but I would like to warn certain experts and columnists: NATO could support us, by patting us on the shoulder for us to topple Bashar al-Assad ourselves.

Let’s not wait for Brussels, but rather for Washington’s decision after the presidential elections next month. If we rely on NATO and start out on our own path to Syria we’ll find ourselves all alone in the center of Damascus.

It’s unfortunate that the EU is out of our lives
Each year the European Union issues a progress report for each candidate country, and each year we used to have heated debates. The report was issued this year as well, but there is no interest in it. Except for a few columnists, no one talked about it.

On Tuesday, the EU’s representative in Ankara, Ambassador Jean Maurice Ripert, explained the report at a lunch for a small group of journalists. I was invited as well, but felt bad about my lack of interest.
For me, the EU used to be Turkey’s most important project. Even when I was left alone during those days and no one was interested, I favored the project. This year, however, I realized that I was not interested in the progress report. The EU is now out of our lives.

Nevertheless, I did read the report. It reflects a balanced view on Turkey. Nobody should complain, especially not the government.

I see the present days as a temporary exit of Europe from our lives. A day will come when the situation changes.

You will see, Europe will come out of its current crisis and will tell Turkey “don’t go…” And a government that prioritizes integration with Europe will come in Ankara. The conjecture will change.

When will this happen?

I don’t know. I am not a fortune teller. But one way or the other there will be a new Europe, and Turkey will find itself there.

We just can’t get used to Bülent Arınç
In the old days, whatever the leader said was repeated by members of their party. Everybody was careful not to fall outside the line of the party leader.

During the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) this situation got even tighter. First, the prime minister talks and endorses a position, then the ministers and members of his party start talking. Nobody says anything until the prime minister voices his view.

Bülent Arınç is not a politician that we are used to. He has been in politics for years and says what he believes. He does not look to the prime minister first in order not to contradict him; he does not wait for the prime minister to talk to voice his own view.

He acts as the conscience of the public.