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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Alexander Vasilev: it is Not excluded that Turkey will leave NATO

“The Turkish military became disillusioned with the global international security structures. On the agenda for them to come out looking technologies that would ensure Ankara’s missile and nuclear weapons,” – said the newspaper VIEW expert Alexander Vasiliev. It also does not exclude that the Turkish army, where alive the idea of national Empire, will soon invade Syria.

On the eve of Russia deployed in Syria anti-aircraft missile system s-400. Together with the complex “Fort” guided missile cruiser “Moscow” it will ensure the safety of flights of the Russian air group and destroy any targets that are dangerous for her. For the implementation of this decision took about a day.

“In Turkey, planned to build a series of landing ships, helicopter carriers. The question is not whether they are intended for the Crimea, or our coast”

On the same day the Turkish President stated that in the event of an invasion in the country’s airspace, the military will act the same way as in the case of the downed Russian bomber. The Republic has long and consistently increasing its military presence near the border with Syria, pulling back heavy weapons and artillery.

It was clear that war between Russia and Turkey is not yet able to walk and talk, but the incidents and clashes in Syria (the country which Ankara considers a zone of its interests) with the involvement of the military in both countries is now quite possible. Than it threatens Russia? What is the Turkish army? How she sees the future of Turkey? In an interview with the newspaper LOOK told about this fellow, Institute of Oriental studies and the Russian-Turkish educational and scientific center in RSUH, invited expert of the Centre for analysis of strategies and technologies Alexander Vasiliev.

OPINION: Alexander, is in principle the Turkish army against the allied forces of NATO?

Alexander Vasiliev(photo: rsuh.ru)

Alexander Vasilyev: Maybe it’s the army not as high-tech as the USA, but it is very numerous, well armed. Two circumstances distinguish it from the armies of Europeans and Americans is the willingness to heavy losses and the willingness to fight in a very uncomfortable, harsh conditions.

Best psychologically motivated and SWAT officers. The army is based on conscription, and most of them are conscripts. But in the barracks is reinforced propagandistic manipulation. And in General, with initially a lower level of motivation than the officers, recruits will be motivated enough.

If you look at the biography of the last chiefs of the General staff, you will see that they have two and even three Western languages, he studied for many years not only in Turkey but also in Western Europe, in the NATO structures around the world. Have great political, administrative and sometimes diplomatic experience. The generals consists of people educated and determined. The main ideology is, of course, the nationalism, but often he develops into a far-right views.

OPINION: how now high among generals the authority of Erdogan? It is known that in the beginning of his reign he was faced with a constant dull military resistance.

A. B.: the Attitude towards him changed. Just recently published the archives within the courts “Sledgehammer” “Ergenekon”, “Plan “Balyoz” in which the military is charged with the preparations for the coup. Published a lot of personal correspondence, which shows that the attitude of the General staff to Erdogan was far from enthusiastic, and relevant to the question whether the military to intervene in politics is ambiguous.

However, at the end of August this year hosted the annual meeting of the Supreme military Council of Turkey, before which some of the people arrested in the case of the preparation of the coup is unexpectedly released from prison. Many “hawks” rehabilitated and returned to their seats. Moreover, some of them even promoted in rank. All this testified to the fact that Erdogan with the military in General agreed. Although a year ago the armed forces in crisis management because of the wave of arrests.

OPINION: But the generals can return to real power as it was before Erdogan?

A. Q. Possibly. A few years ago many analysts were saying that he broke the backbone of the army. But now everything has changed. Accession to the EU was shelved. Erdogan’s own future was uncertain. It is unclear who will be his successor. So have any chances for revenge of the generals.

Now he had exonerated the army involuntarily under the influence of complexities in Syria and Iraq. To educate and propel yourself to the top loyal officers, had a lot of time. But the officers need here and now.

OPINION: the Generals, most likely, have applauded the death of a Russian aircraft?

AV: the Generals had long been invited to lead a more active foreign policy. It is possible that he would not even be limited to the destruction of one Russian plane, and to prepare for the open annexation turcomanica areas of Syria.

Recently the Turkish authorities have been very actively developing in the press about that border in the First world war, that is the border with Syria, have been laid unfairly and shared the Turkish people.

Concerned that continuing to build up forces on the border with these turkmenskiy areas. Pulled tanks, howitzer artillery. Amid the unpredictability of Erdogan we can expect a land operation in Syria.

OPINION: But such a step as joining parts of Syria, will meet an explicit rejection of the allies? NATO may not be the state with disputed borders.

AV: I made a very interesting observation during a recent visit to Turkey. Many military became disillusioned with the global international security structures. Now for them on the agenda the search for technologies that would ensure Ankara’s missile and nuclear weapons. In the future, after you achieve this, it is possible that Turkey will leave NATO.

I saw in the reports of Turkish military experts, the theses that only the possession of nuclear weapons will help Turkey to fully conduct an independent foreign policy.

Of course, there’s nuclear program is still in its early stages. In addition to the construction in the South of our NPP “Akkuyu” construction work has started on the Japanese nuclear power plant in Sinop, on the Black sea. As far as I know, until recently personnel for Turkish nuclear power is widely and actively prepared in our MIFI.

In addition, Turkey has made progress in the creation of missile weaponry, primarily through technology, which she passed on to Europeans and Americans, and of purchasing ready-made rocket in China. In particular, Turkey is already operational-tactical missiles, the Chinese clone systems with a range of start about 300 kilometers. The last exhibition of arms IDEF-2015 in Istanbul showed a great success of the Turks in rocket. It is very dangerous.

OPINION: AND what they showed in the last period of Turkish air force?

AV: it’s Hard to say exactly what the modification was the F-16 that attacked our plane, but in the last two or three years the Turks have modernized part of the Park their F-16. I think it was conducted with the aim to expand the range of opportunities it as a bomber than as a fighter, for application, primarily, of ground strikes.

In General, the air force is professional, well-equipped, although there are a number of problems. There is a lack of trained pilots. Many of the military students did not renew the contracts and massively went into the civil sector after the devaluation of the Lira, the salary of military pilots was too low.

Another problem is the aging fleet of aircraft. Now the basis of the air force are F-16 and F-4 various modifications. So many F-4 has apparently been worn out. It doesn’t take years, whatever happens 3-4 accident involving F-4, with the victims often become young pilots. F-4 is used either for training either for reconnaissance or attack – due to the lack of modern attack helicopters.

OPINION: the state of the Navy?

AV: the Navy is going through probably one of the best moments in its history. Erdogan 10 years ago, announced an ambitious program of creating a Navy. It is planned to build amphibious assault ship and a series of frigates and corvettes, series submarines – all this forces domestic industries. And in anticipation of these ships, as, so to speak, the interim compensation, the Turks turned to the creation of speedboats. Actually, the long coastline also requires patrols on these boats.

In General, in the armed forces remains a priority of the ground forces and the air force. The Navy and coast guard were funded before a secondary. But the ambitious program of Erdogan shows the change priorities are shifting toward the Navy. I am personally very worried that in the next 5-7 years is planned to build a series of landing ships, helicopter carriers, which will significantly enhance the capabilities of the Turkish army on the rapid transfer of forces by sea. The question is not whether they are intended for the Crimea, or our coast.

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