Degerli Tekman Post okuyucuları,
bugün sizlere Ingilizce olarak 17.1.2016 tarihinde saat 16:54’de („Forum s……..firstname.lastname@example.org“ (Date: 2016-01-17 16:54 tarafından Beyaz Saray’da Hillariy Clionton’un danışmanlarına (j….s……email@example.com ve kopya olarak’da, J….P…..firstname.lastname@example.org, s……..email@example.com ) gönderilen Amerikalı Diplomat Stu Eizenstat‘ ın kaleme almış olduğu Degerli Cumhurbaskanımız Recep Tayyip Erdogan ve Türkiye hakkında yazılan olumsuz raporu herseyi göz önüne alarak, virgülüne bile dokunmadan Okumanız, okutmanız ve yetkili mercilerin haberdar olması acısından yayınlıyoruz.
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Date: 2016-01-17 16:54
Subject: Turkey and ISIS (Defense Policy Board) ( „Redaksion Tekman Post“)
I know the last thing in the world you are focusing on is Turkey and ISIS,
with the debate tonight (where I hope she will hit on his non-electability
and that his nomination will guarantee a Republican victory, since socialism
is not acceptable to the broad electorate), and the upcoming Iowa caucus.
But hopefully, this may be useful in the future.
This is a summary (without any classified information) from our Defense
Policy Board meeting this week, the last part of which was with Secretary of
Defense Ash Carter. He had asked us to look at Turkey and its role in
dealing with ISIS. In our two days of meetings, we were briefed by a number
of intelligence services, by four former U.S. Ambassadors to Turkey, and by
three academic experts.
Here is a brief summary. I will be pleased to fill-in more details when you
come up for breath, but I wanted to get this to you before I leave this
afternoon for the World Economic Forum in Davos.
1. Turkey is a very difficult ally. Prime Minister Erdogan has taken Turkey
in a more Islamic direction, and has cracked down hard on independent
journalists, opposition politicians, and anyone he views as challenging him,
including the military (15% of their flag officers are under arrest.. After
an initial election setback, he feels embolden by his most recent electoral
success, where he played the national security and populist card and won
over many conservatives outside his ruling party. Since the election, he has
ended promising peace talks with the PKK, and has gone after not only them,
but Kurds more generally. Some of the experts and former Ambassadors felt
Erdogan was driving the country to the brink of civil conflict.
2. Erdogan’s prime goal is to have a referendum that will change the
Constitution and create an Executive President, a strong presidential
system. But he knows that even with his electoral success, it is not a given
he would win. He also knows that with the economy slowing down, he must
produce on this end to strengthen his chances in a referendum. But whether
he wins or not, the U.S. must face the fact that he will be the prime
interlocutor for many years to come.
3. His Cabinet is weak and he is the sole decision-maker on anything
4. His top priority and ours are different. Ours is fighting ISIS in Syria
and Iraq. His is combating the PKK and the threat of a Kurdish independent
state either in Turkey or in northern Syria and Iraq. He does not believe
the U.S. has been sufficiently attentive to Turkey’s security concerns
including the PKK, even though we have them on our terrorist list. He sees
the US support of the YPG (Syrian Kurdish party) in Syria, which is the most
effective fighting force on our side against ISIS, as a threat to Turkey. He
has decent relations with other Kurdish leaders, like Barzani and the Iraqi
Kurds that he does not see as a threat.
5. His foreign policy has been based on having no enemies and calm on his
borders. But he is now faced with chaos and conflict on his borders. He
fears, with good reason an Iranian/Russian/Syrian/Kurdish axis. This,
together with Turkey’s slowing economic growth and large debt overhang, and
his membership in NATO, gives us leverage. Indeed, one of the reasons he is
warming-up to possible resumption of relations with Israel is his fear that
he is isolated. He openly said he wants to restore relations with Israel.
Likewise, he is taking a more conciliatory approach toward Cyprus,
reciprocated by the new government there. This concern opens opportunities
for the U.S. to get Erdogan to lean more to the West. Likewise, the burden
of dealing with well over a million Syrian refugees, and the EU funds that
will be provided to help keep them from coming to Europe, provides some
leverage for the West.
6. He has acted provocatively in recent weeks. The downing of the Russian
plane (which had been over Turkish airspace for only 17 seconds), and
sending tanks briefly into Syria, are examples. Because Turkey is a NATO
member, these types of actions have the risk of drawing in the U.S.
7. Around 50% of the Kurds in Turkey do not live in the Kurdish northern
area, but are fully integrated into Turkish society, speak Turkish as their
first language. But as Erdogan strikes at the Kurds in the north, they feel
8. The issue of doing more to get Turkey to close its border with Syria is
tricky, since not only pro-ISIS foreign fighters come through, but also
anti-Assad and anti-ISIS fighters.
9. Erdogan believes the U.S. needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the U.S.
There was a division in the Board of how to deal with this problem. A few
felt we should adopt a tougher tone to disabuse him of this belief, but a
majority felt we should be exploring ways to take advantage of Turkey’s
economic problems and security threats to draw him closer to the U.S.
10. Several of the academic experts felt the turning point of Erdogan
shifting from a pro-western to a more authoritarian, Islamic direction, was
the ending of EU accession talks. We all realized this was a difficult time
for Europe to resume talks, but there are some discussions on a few chapters
and this could be elevated. But Kissinger felt it was a „fantasy“ to think
Erdogan could become pro-Western, since he is very pro-Islamic, but that
there are still areas to cooperate based on shared security concerns.
11. While we should encourage Erdogan to resume talks with the PKK, this can
only be done by the U.S. taking a more hard-line position on their violence.
12. Even with the sharp turn toward Islam, Turkey remains more democratic
and pro-western than other Muslim states in the region. The business
community and parts of the military, and the secular population (around 45%
13. We should be seeking a „transactional“ relationship with Turkey, since a
strategic partnership would be difficult. There are a number of specific
steps we could take along this line. However, there was support for my idea
of commencing a strategic dialogue (like we have with China), if only to
better understand their concerns, and where our interests overlap. We also
should do more to activate the Turkey-NATO relationship. Again, because he
feels more vulnerable than ever before, given the situation in the region,
we have some leverage.
14. Turkey wants a No-Fly Zone in northern Syria to protect refugees and
staunch the flow into Turkey .But this can only happen if they and others
put boots on the ground.
15. One unifying theme could be Iran, if we take a harder line to their
misconduct. Moreover, we do have common security concerns, e.g. Iran and
Russia and Assad.
16. Turkey is upset by not being in the TTIP negotiations, fearing they will
lose markets in Europe and the U.S. We cannot add them, but should make
clear that after an agreement, they can accede. We can also stress the
importance of Turkey as an energy hub in the region. We can do more to help
(e.g. through the IMF) with their economy.
I hope this is helpful, at some point down the road.
Good luck tonight and in the upcoming weeks.