By Ozan Ceyhun
U.S. President Donald Trump's assaults on the Turkish economy by posting tweets that target Turkey constitute a betrayal of NATO. Economic warfare declared by one NATO ally on another disregards the values of the alliance. Undermining a NATO ally in economic terms also harms the military power of this very ally. This type of situation is unacceptable.
The U.S. has also engaged in similar actions against other NATO allies, particularly Germany. Although the latest attacks on Turkey seems to undermine only Turkey in the short run, it will harm all NATO allies and EU countries in the medium and long terms. Also, attacks that target the NATO country with the second-largest army can disrupt the power and integrity of the whole organization. In the face of these attacks, the Turkish people have rightfully began questioning the country's relations with NATO, and whether the U.S. is a friend or a foe. People believe that even though it is not a foe, it is certainly not a friend, either.
Therefore, Turkish citizens have increasingly demanded that Turkey establish warmer ties with other countries and superpowers that offer alternatives to the U.S. With Trump's motives, the U.S. may lose Turkey as an ally. As long as the EU remains indifferent to this and does not have the courage to take a stance against the U.S.' actions that are pushing the world toward the brink of a catastrophe, the union runs the risk of losing Turkey.
The terrorists who organized the July 15 attempted coup in Turkey are currently being protected and harbored by the U.S. Despite all of Ankara's rightful demands, they are not being extradited to Turkey, whereas, their activities against Turkey are condoned. Already disturbed by this, the Turkish nation is incensed by the attacks aimed at harming the Turkish economy. If the U.S. hopes to promote hostile feelings among Turkish people, they are very close to doing so.
Turkey has never forgotten that the military coups staged in 1960, 1971 and 1980 were backed and mostly controlled by the U.S. These coups prevented the progress of Turkish democracy and made the Turkish economy dependent on the U.S. Washington is distraught that Turkey has been liberated from U.S. dependence as of 2002 and continued its progress to become independent in every field. Evidently, the U.S. wants to see Turkey as a weak country whose economy is under U.S. control, or as a country ruled by a military dictatorship like Egypt, instead of an independent Turkey with a strong democracy and economy. It also disturbs the U.S. that Turkey keeps supporting Palestinians as one of the leading actors of the global opposition against Israel, despite the fact that Jerusalem was declared the capital of Israel. In the current global context, the U.S. only favors countries like Egypt who betray Palestinians and cooperate with the regime that currently rules Israel.
However, it is important to remember Turkey is neither Greece nor Egypt. The Turkish economy has enough experience to not easily bend to such pressure. Ankara has drawn lessons from the developments in various countries in the region that have disintegrated, broken apart by civil wars or colonized by military coups. People demonstrated their courage to resist all these during the July 15 coup attempt. The Turkish nation did not yield to bombarding jets, firing tanks or pro-coup troops, and they are now ready to face economic attacks. For this reason, the people are giving their full support to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Today, even the dissident groups who did not vote for Erdoğan are siding with him because they love their country and cannot trade their love and dignity for a few dollars.
The Turkish people have been uniting and acting in solidarity against the attacks by the U.S., while Washington has been gradually losing Turkey, as I stated above. Hard conditions bring new opportunities. From now on, Turkey will be in closer contact with superpowers like Russia and China, although Ankara had kept them at a distance to honor Turkey's NATO membership. In fact, the world needs to act as one and take a common stance against the latest U.S. policies that harm everyone.
If the EU and NATO allies want NATO to survive, they cannot stand idly by and let the U.S. betray the organization. It may be too late by the time those pleased with the economic problems in Turkey finally understand that they have made a huge mistake.