Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan just threatened Europeans with religious and ethnic violence – on the same day that an Islamic terrorist attacked pedestrians and Parliament in London. This is probably just bad timing, but why should the Western powers tolerate this?
The primary issue with Erdoğan is that he’s angry that Turkey isn’t welcome to join the European Union – I guess he thinks that he can threaten his way into the club. But his current beef is that Germany and the Netherlands have denied Turkish officials access to political rallies in their countries. Erdoğan and his supporters want to drum up votes among Turkish expatriates for the upcoming April 16th referendum that will grant him even more power. President Erdoğan’s response was to threaten violence on live television:
“Turkey is not a country you can pull and push around, not a country whose citizens you can drag on the ground. If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets. Europe will be damaged by this.”
This is not the statement of a good neighbor who has a dispute with his friends, this is the language of an enemy – these are in fact, words of war.
With the help of his citizens, President Erdoğan was able to stop the coup against his government last year. Since then he’s purged the Turkish military, courts, media, and academia of his political enemies. He is a populist, an authoritarian, and an Islamist. If that’s who the Turks want leading their government, most people might say: “Who cares? It’s none of our business.” But Erdoğan has been acting against American and European interests for a while now.
For years, Turkey has been buying oil from ISIS and thereby has been funding the Islamic terror state’s growth. There’s even evidence that the Turkish government under President Erdoğan provided direct military, financial and logistical support to ISIS. The fact that Erdoğan’s Turkey and Assad’s Syria have been buying oil from ISIS is basically indisputable – no matter how often it’s been denied.
Turkey has also been allowing aspiring militants to gain entry to ISIS-held territory over its porous southern border.
While the United States withdrew from the direct fight against the Islamic State (and other Jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq) the power vacuum was filled by Russia. The Russians have been fighting the rebels, Jihadists, and terrorists in order to defend their ally Bashar al-Assad’s ability to maintain control over his Syrian regime. Assad and Russia’s Vladimir Putin might be inherently bad guys – but they’ve been killing our ISIS enemy while we abandoned the fight.
What sort of thanks did Putin get for targeting ISIS? Turkey shot down one of Russia’s fighter jets. In January of 2016, President Erdoğan threatened that Russia would have to endure consequences if they violated Turkish airspace again while targeting ISIS (and other terrorist groups) in Syria. This came about a month after they actually did shoot down a Russian military jet that was targeting terrorists.
To sum up:
- Turkey is a NATO ally that is threatening ethnic and religious violence against other NATO members in Europe.
- Turkey was illegally buying oil from the Islamic State terror organization.
- Turkey shot down a Russian jet that was fighting Jihadist rebels and terrorists in the Middle East.
The European Union was wise to ignore Turkey’s desire to politically join with them. The United States should consider expelling Turkey from NATO as well.
Turkey is NOT our friend – they are the enemy within.