A newspaper columnist who is close to the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has predicted Turkey will one day go to war with the United States. Sputnik spoke to an exiled Turkish journalist, Abdullah Bozkurt, about what lies behind the comments.
Turkish newspaper columnist Ardan Zenturk has said Turkey is headed for an inevitable war with the United States and told those who did not want to take part to leave the country.
“The conflict between the United States and Turkey… is inevitable, the concept of survival has come to the door and we all know that we are at a point where no compromise can be made,” wrote Zenturk in the pro-government Star newspaper on Monday, November 20.
“Obviously, one day we will fight… those put their business, property and comfort before their homeland, my recommendation is they must leave the country today,” he added.
Abdullah Bozkurt, an exiled Turkish journalist and author of the book Turkey Interrupted, said relations between Ankara and Washington are very strained at the moment, partly because of US support for Kurdish forces in Syria and partly because of their refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the exiled cleric who was allegedly behind last year’s coup attempt.
“There have been troubles in the bilateral ties before and surely there will be some in the future. But both the US and Turkey have always managed to compartmentalize these to sustain the alliance which benefited both. Similar things can be said with Russia, Turkey’s major trading partner and neighbor. Turkey, a country which is very much dependent on trade, tourism and investment from outside, cannot risk clashes and confrontation with the US or Russia for that matter, even if one of them recognizes a Kurdish state, which seems quite unlikely in the near future at least,” Mr. Bozkurt told Sputnik.
‘War Very Unlikely’
“A war between the US and Turkey would be very unlikely, given the fact that Turkey and the US has been allies for over 60 years and worked very closely on every level from defense to economic development,” Mr. Bozkurt told Sputnik.
“Erdogan is trying to play a spoiler card, gain some leverage to bargain with anti-US frenzy in the media and hope to negotiate from strengthened position if it ever comes to that,” he added.
Mr. Bozkurt said President Erdogan could take Turkey out of NATO.
“However, he knows the limits and realizes of risks for doing so. The Turkish military is a NATO military in essence and would face mounting challenges if he embarks on that path,” he told Sputnik.
“He [Mr. Zenturk] parrots what Erdogan says and changes position, often depending on where Erdogan is heading. When Turkey had troubled ties with Russia after the shooting down of the Russian bomber on the Turkish-Syrian border, he was bashing Russia, and predicting Russia could be easily dismembered just like the Soviet Union,” Mr. Bozkurt concluded.