Turkey Out of NATO: Other Voices
by Daniel Pipes
I raised the issue of Turkey's continued membership in NATO in April 2009 at "Does Turkey Still Belong in NATO?"; here I will collect others who agree that the issue at least needs to be raised.
David Schenker, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, at "A NATO without Turkey?":
(November 5, 2009)
Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute: "Because Turkey increasingly is the obstacle to NATO consensus, its future in the defensive alliance may now be open to question." (October 24, 2011)
Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) headed by Geert Wilders: reassess Turkey's membership in NATO on the basis that its government has abandoned its allies – first Israel and now France. (December 26, 2011)
Rick Perry, governor of Texas and Republican presidential candidate, asked a question at the South Carolina debate by Bret Baier of Fox News:
(January 16, 2012) Jan. 17, 2012 update: The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs called Perry's comments "baseless and inappropriate" and asserted that Turkey's leaders are "personalities respected not only in the United States, but in our region and in the world and whose opinions are strongly relied on." The statement breached usual diplomatic niceties, noting that "Turkey joined NATO while the governor was still 2-years old" and urging Americans not to waste time with candidates "who do not even know their allies." It affirmed that "Figures who are candidates for positions that require responsibility, such as the U.S. presidency, should be more knowledgeable about the world and exert more care with their statement." The ministry concluded with a final whack, noting Perry's low standing in the presidential race as proof that Republicans do not endorse his opinions.
Soner Cagaptay and Richard Outzen, respectively of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy and the U.S. Army, have written an analysis titled "Would Turkey Leave NATO?" for CNN which offers ideas on keeping Ankara in but which can no less easily be flipped on its head to figure out to push Ankara out.
They suggest that "to maintain Turkey's long-term commitment to NATO, the alliance should consider making Ankara feel important." They then list a number of ideas:
Comments: (1) This listing makes the Turkish leadership sound utterly self centered and egocentric. (2) To dispatch Ankara from NATO would seem to require no more than a few well-placed slights. (June 26, 2012)
Sep. 20, 2014 update: The Turkish government's misbehavior at home and abroad have prompted many new commentators - too many for me usefully to document their specifics - to call for its suspension or expulsion from NATO. What was once the views of a small minority has now become commonplace.
Nov. 5, 2014 update: In an important article by Semih Idiz, "No chance Turkey will be 'kicked out of NATO'," a former Turkish ambassador to NATO, Unal Unsal, states there is no risk of Turkey's being expelled from the alliance. "talk of kicking Turkey out is idle because NATO does not have rules for this. It is only up to member states to leave if they want." Idiz concludes that, "unless Turkey wants to leave NATO, it will remain a member as long as the alliance survives."
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