Erdogan losing trust in US as ally, shifting toward Russia
Story Code : 560091
Q: This seems like quite a change of heart, Turkey leaning quite strongly now towards Russia looking for cooperation to fight Daesh, how do you feel about that?
Lindorff: Yes, I think it is a fairly dramatic change. It suggests that Turkey’s role in NATO is now in question because they are an anchor to NATO. They used to have missiles in place I remember back during the Cuban Missile Crisis, they had missiles that were aimed at Russia run by the United States and the long history of Turkey being an anchor to NATO in challenging Russia during the Cold War and yet now we are actually seeing a possibility that Turkey will be looking at Russia as a core of a group of countries - Iran and Turkey and Syria - all as allies on the basis of the enemy of my enemy is my friend and that’s it, a fundamental shift in the Middle East for the US. It means that the whole US goal of controlling energy in the Middle East falls apart because Turkey is now talking about becoming a transit center for gas and oil coming from Russia and going to Europe.
Q: So then when we talk about this fight against Daesh or ISIL, do you think Turkey and Russia coming together will be a good thing in the sense that it will only strengthen that fight and finally succeed?
Lindorff: Well it should be a good thing for the people of Syria because Turkey has up to now been a key backer of ISIL in fighting against the Assad regime. So if they are going to ally with Russia and turn around and Russia ..., you did not mention the fact that Russia is saying that it is part of any deal with Turkey, Turkey has to stop allowing ISIL to freely cross Turkish borders which is how they have been avoiding confronting the Syrian troops that are attacking them. So this would be a big, big shift putting Turkey on the same side as Russia and Assad in attacking ISIL.
Q: And so where does this leave Turkey then, do you think? You have already spoken about obviously the United States must be worried looking at all this and so must be NATO. Is Turkey now fundamentally shifting? Is this a permanent shift or is this just temporary, do you think?
Lindorff: I think this a is a big deal because I think Turkey is convinced from what I have been reading some pretty good grounds that the US and the CIA were instrumental or at least turning a blind eye to the coup planning against Erdogan. So I mean that is pretty heavy indictment of the United States from Turkey’s perspective. I do not see this as a short-term shift. I think Erdogan sees his salvation in having the support of Russia and does not any longer trust the United States as an ally.