The majority of Germans, according to the survey, advocate for the exclusion of Turkey from NATO, and this idea is supported by many politicians. How realistic such a scenario, understood DW.
Turkish military operation in Northern Syria have caused serious damage to Ankara’s relations with NATO. In Germany, the louder the voices of those calling for the exclusion of Turkey from the Alliance. In addition to politicians from the Left party and now leader of the SPD faction in the Bundestag Rolf Mutzenich (Rolf M?tzenich ) questioned Ankara’s membership in NATO. While 58% of Germans think that Turkey should be excluded from the Alliance. These are the results of a representative survey conducted by international research company YouGov by order of the news Agency dpa.
In the study, which took place from 25 to 28 October, was attended by over 2000 people. Only 18% of them voted against the exclusion of Turkey from NATO. Most of the respondents believed that the government of Germany should take a tougher stance against Turkey: 61% of respondents support economic sanctions against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and 69% a ban on arms sales to Ankara.
DW versed, how likely is the emergence of Turkey from the Alliance and what role Russia can play.
Why NATO criticizes the Turkish military operation
Most of the countries-members of NATO criticized Turkish military operations in Syria, which interfered, and Russia. Erdogan launched a military offensive in Northern Syria on October 9, the operation was called “the Source of peace”. On October 17 Turkey and the USA agreed on a five-day cessation of the offensive of the Turkish troops. And on 22 October in Sochi, the presidents Erdogan and Putin agreed on the extension of the ceasefire in the North of Syria-no more than 6 days to the self-defense forces of Syrian Kurds (YPG) were able to go 30 kilometers into the Syrian territory.
For the authorities in Ankara “Source of peace” has become a great success, as it has seriously hindered the possible establishment of a Kurdish state. The Turkish authorities the reason for the operation is called terrorism. NATO, however, believe that Ankara’s actions contradict the interests of other countries-members of the Alliance, since they only helped to strengthen the position of the so-called “Islamic state” (IG) and created conditions for the escape of militants in detention in areas controlled by Kurds.
One of the critics of Turkey’s actions was made by the foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas (Heiko Maas). He called the operation a “violation of international law.” In response, the Turkish authorities stated that they expect from partners in NATO accusations, and solidarity. The German authorities had already restricted the sale of arms to Turkey as long as Erdogan launched an attack in Northern Syria, however, a complete ban on its delivery to Ankara yet.
Russia wants to split NATO?
NATO is concerned about the military cooperation of Turkey with Russia and fear that it could trigger the country’s exit from NATO. Experts believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to split the Alliance in its policy towards Turkey. Russia, analysts say, played a role in increasing tension between Turkey and NATO in the last few months.
First, the outrage in Brussels was the fact that Ankara has decided to purchase Moscow anti-aircraft missile system s-400 instead of the American “Patriot”. NATO worried that the Kremlin will be able to access classified information of the Alliance with capabilities of s-400. For this, the Americans threatened Ankara with economic sanctions, and already on the first day of the Turkish military offensive, the American President Erdogan threatened to “destroy the Turkish economy.”
After the agreement in Sochi Russia should help Turkey to push the self-defense forces of Syrian Kurds, which Ankara considers an ally of the country banned the Kurdistan workers party (PKK), the Syrian-Turkish border. NATO fear that the operation “the Source of peace” will help to strengthen the military position of Russia in Syria, and approve a Syria as a “vassal state” of the Kremlin.
If it comes to the exclusion of Turkey from NATO?
In Brussels believe the exclusion of Turkey from the Alliance is unlikely from a legal point of view and almost impossible. Primarily because the North Atlantic Treaty does not provide for the exclusion of the country from the Alliance. Although the member state can theoretically announce the release of NATO in accordance with article 13 of the Treaty, it would be a long process that would require approval and ratification by all member countries.
Former foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel (Sigmar Gabriel) called in a commentary for Der Tagesspiegel, the idea of exclusion of Turkey from NATO, “grotesque”, stressing that this step would lead to the emergence of a “new serious security threats on the Eastern borders of the EU.”
Yet signs that Turkey might leave NATO, is not observed. At a meeting in Brussels last week stressed the strategic importance of Turkey for the Alliance. Once again noted Turkey’s geographical position, its role in the fight against terrorism and the control over the movement of refugees. Furthermore, the exception could seriously affect the military capabilities of the Alliance, as Turkey has the second largest army in NATO.
Will the Turkey itself from the Alliance?
This option is also unlikely, because between the Alliance and Turkey is mutual dependence. The Alliance provides a platform for Ankara for discussions with the most influential countries of the world. In addition, Turkey is now in international isolation.
Nothing demonstrates this better than its military operation in the North of Syria. Almost the entire world community – even the Arab and Muslim States have opposed this operation. Military protection from NATO – the strongest military Alliance in the world – is essential to ensure the safety of an isolated country which is now Turkey.