The Turkish foreign Minister suddenly offered Russia the possibility of using the Incirlik air base to fight ISIS, but soon disavowed this statement. Left two questions. First – what might be behind such an abrupt change of foreign policy vector? And second – do I need to do videoconferencing this base with the us military in the load?
For a small period of time between the two statements Cavusoglu any official requests to Moscow about cooperation in the fight against ISIS* from Ankara was received and that was confirmed by press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov. All this gave rise to talk about the professional competence of Cavusoglu as foreign Minister. But in fact, he has not deviated from the usual Turkish style of conducting foreign policy.
“Better not exchanged for trifles, to return the historical name of Istanbul, Constantinople. Well, I agree – let it be Constantinople!”
One of the most famous military sites in Turkey conflicting international legal status. Formally, it is considered the basis of the U.S. air force in “joint use” with the Turkish air force and NATO. The Pentagon kept Incirlik 39th auxiliary wing transport aircraft and tankers, which serves absurdly large number of staff – up to five thousand us troops. The United States and are the legal owners of the database (i.e. buildings, two runways and all the technical tools), and the agreement on its construction and operation was signed during the Second world war, when the allies – each in their own way – played with Turkey in a strange game, and Ankara eventually won all on points.
Not that Turkey had limited sovereignty over its own territory – most solutions for this kind of military targets taken forcibly, without legal clearance. But with all this, the Turkish air force does not consider the Incirlik as forward base by targeting their strike forces on the airfield at Erzurum. And theoretically the US can do to close both of the runway on their own.
There is some reason to believe that absurdly large attention, which the United States paid to Incirlik, and so huge for a modest “gas station staff connected with the fact that the base is loaded with an undetermined number of American nuclear warheads. During the cold war, Incirlik was used mainly as a base for reconnaissance aircraft, but after the destruction of the U-2 powers lost that status. Reconnaissance aircraft were withdrawn from Turkey, but there appeared a nuclear weapon. Its withdrawal from Turkey was the result of a compromise after the Cuban missile crisis, but in fact the Americans were taken out of Turkey, not the warheads and carriers – rockets “Minuteman”.
Another crisis around the base happened in 1974, when Congress in his usual emotional manner has imposed an embargo on military cooperation with Turkey because of the war in Cyprus. The Turks in response, froze cooperation with the U.S. air force, but, notably, to commandeer the Incirlik in favor of the state did not. Ankara long ago learned to capitalize on the political-military costs associated with its historical and infernal claims to all around. So, it was the US after the Cyprus war had the money to renovate, expand and improve this database, and after the war of 1974 in the Eastern Mediterranean is one of the few such events in recent history that Washington has really nothing had. That is, Ankara managed to force the Americans not only to resume political and military cooperation, abolishing the resolution of the Congress, but also to invest in Incirlik, which is then not was of fundamental interest.
Since 1991, in the period of permanent middle East crisis, the United States used Incirlik is very limited. For example, out flew old fighters to control the airspace of Northern Iraq to enforce a no-fly zone”. But then, when Iraq was already nothing to fly, and the Americans organized the supply of the starving Kurds. At Incirlik also were taken and the Kurds, who were then sent to Ramstein in Germany. Also Incirlik became famous in the U.S. marine corps as a staging base from Afghanistan back home via the same Ramstein) with all related provincial Turkey entertainment.
The Turks already used virtual to trade Incirlik for political purposes, though in fact not very own it. In April they offered it in Germany long-term use for the same “fight ISIS” in exchange for the fact that Berlin fully rekonstruiruet and the base itself, and the infrastructure around. The issue price was 65 million euros, of which 34 went to a new command post, a 15 – building residential zone, and about 10 on the extension of the airfield. It was the location of only a few German reconnaissance aircraft “Tornado” and a couple of air tankers for them.
All this happened in the framework of “crisis migrants”, but for Turkey it is quite normal to bargain and with partners in the blocks of such a Bazaar way, what talking about Russia. After the crisis of the German-Turkish relations, Berlin has ceased to negotiate the use of the database, but without it the practical interest of Germany in a more active part in operations against ISIS began to wane. Important here is not the position of Berlin, and the motivation of Ankara. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is able to “Woo” Incirlik at the same time and Germany, and Russia, and it will be necessary – and the Martians. Such techniques were common place policy of the Ottoman Empire. This is sometimes called “political genetics” or remodel the facade of the state (even through terror, as Ataturk), the basic Foundation is not going anywhere. Any government in Ankara would seek to “breed” Europeans Eastern promises and flattery, interspersed with thinly veiled insults and “air Commerce”.
How the West was pushing Russia and Turkey: history of the Russo-Turkish war of this point to look for in the words of Cavusoglu inconsistencies or catch it on the incompetence of a nonsensical approach. Cavusoglu honestly plays the role of the Ottoman vizier, which is not difficult to comment on their words opposite of their primary content sense. The Minister really said nothing about the fact that Ankara is making some sort of substantive suggestion about Incirlik, it was about “allies at war with ISIL.” This could imply the context of his statements, but context and tone are the easiest to disavow retroactively.
Compare the two lines. Here is the original, which is a response to a direct question: “We will cooperate with all who oppose ISIS… We opened a base in Incirlik for those who want to actively participate in it (in fighting terrorists). Why shouldn’t we just cooperate with Russia? IG is for all of us the enemy, and with it the need to fight”. And here is the disclaimer: “I did not give such a review (focused on the provision of base Russia). We said that we can cooperate with all who are fighting against the militants of the terrorist group “Islamic state*”. We declared readiness to cooperate with Russia in the fight against ISIS”.
What can I say? Maybe Ankara and “opened” base in Incirlik, but no one but Americans dug in. It turns out that something from the series called for a visit, but forgot to leave the address.” But the important thing is that assistance when in need. And no one even of the direct NATO allies did not ask Turkey to provide it is not something that Incirlik, and in General any database, except as required by the responsibilities in NATO. At the same time the Germans were booted out by the Turkish military authorities from the naval base of Izmir during trials with migrants.
Russia requests regarding Incirlik or any other military base on the territory of Turkey is not addressed – and not addressed even in a nightmare. For the Russian groups in Syria, and even more – for the Russian military position in the region, Incirlik is not of interest. Indirectly it can be useful when conducting operations in Northern Iraq and in Kurdistan (of different nationality). But Moscow is quite able to negotiate with the current government in Baghdad, if necessary, at least in theory.
Moreover, the use of Incirlik would entail so many difficulties for videoconferencing, it is better not to mess with him. Why on earth are we so happy with the American military police, multi-level scanning systems esters, total listening to Turkish technicians and support staff with fake documents? Hamim base in Syria is enough, not to mention the fact that her work is defined by formal agreements between Moscow and Damascus, but the hypothetical status of Russian troops on NATO base (the more technically owned by the USA) would be frankly “the bird.”
From the point of view of future history textbooks, it would be fun to land there a couple of transport “Sludge”. And even better, not exchanged for trifles, to return to Istanbul (Turkish name of the city, by the way, comes from the old Ottoman Turkish Islambol – full-filled by Muslims) historical name of Constantinople. Well, I agree – let it be Constantinople. Cavusoglu would like to promise with proper alignment, it is normal for Turkish foreign policy mentality of the promise, bargain, and then a sly glint Ottoman eyes, deny everything, say, you have understood correctly. East – a delicate matter. The main thing – not to take it seriously.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”Related posts: