World Bulletin / News Desk
There is a need to revitalize NATO for better U.S.-Turkey relations after the next American administration takes office, the Research Director at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), Kilic Bugra Kanat said.
Speaking Thursday during a panel at the University of Delaware Turkish American Student Association (TASA) on Turkish-American relations after the failed July 15 coup attempt, Kanat said revitalizing NATO was a must to rebuild trust among member nations.
"NATO started to lose its meaning, its spirit," he said, "especially after attacks to Turkey from Syria ... it created confusion about the mission of NATO."
An artillery shell was fired in 2012 by the Syrian army at Turkey's border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa city, which killed several civilians. The same year, a Turkish F-4 fighter jet was shot down by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
And Turkish officials criticized NATO for not coming to its defense following the recent attempted overthrow of the government in Ankara.
Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, has the second largest military power in the alliance, after the United States, and is a key ally.
According to Kanat, Turkey made all of its strategic, geopolitical and foreign policy calculations for the next presidential term with the assumption that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win the Nov. 8 elections.
"And now we have a Trump administration. This is a totally new thing," he says.
Trump's comments on NATO so far show he is not fond of the alliance. He openly threatened to abandon European allies if they did not meet their "financial obligations" to the alliance.
According to the Executive Director of SETA Kadir Ustun who was another panelist, Trump's administration might not be so bad if the real estate mogul follows "a more or less coherent U.S. policy towards the region [Syria]".
On the other hand, professor Kamran Bokhari from George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security said during the panel that the Turkish military was the only NATO member who could stabilize and bring order to chaos in Syria.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity and mounted war crimes against his own people.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed -- and more than 10 million displaced -- across the war-battered country, according to UN figures.Last Mod: 18 Kasım 2016, 23:34