Time for NATO to expel increasingly Islamist, authoritarian Turkey - analyst

Turkey, under the almost two-decade long leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is making fewer attempts to conceal its increasingly Islamist tendencies, while actively working against the interests of the West, which calls for the ejection of the country out of NATO alliance, wrote freelance journalist Tim Ogden.

Ankarathreatens to fatally undermine the alliance it has been a member of since 1952, Ogden wrote in the Spectator, with the deterioration of Turkey’s relations with the West gaining momentum under Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkey was most recently involved in a diplomatic row with France over French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on Islam and Muslims, and his refusal to remove cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Erdoğan has responded by questioning the mental state of his French counterpart and calling for a boycott of French products.

Over the past year, Turkey has launched major offensives against Kurdish forces in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, while intervening against rebel General Khalifa Haftar and his forces in war-torn Libya. The country also backs Azerbaijan in its dispute with Armenia over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh while becoming further entangled in a conflict with Cyprus and Greece over hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Why then has NATO not yet acted against its bellicose member?’’ Ogden asked. “The obvious solution would be to have Turkey ejected from the alliance, a move which would show that NATO has the courage of its own convictions and will not tolerate members which have, effectively, become hostile powers.’’

It is better that the alliance follows this course than allowing Ankara to quit on its own terms, according to Ogden, however, NATO has no mechanisms to eject member states.

Perhaps, the analyst said, the alliance could alter its founding document in order to remove Turkey, as failing to do so would only reinforce its current weak image.

“If NATO cannot stand up to its allies, it is highly unlikely it will appropriately confront its enemies,’’ Ogden said.