This discussion post was truly a pleasure to read and find out a bit more about Turkey’s dual role as both a prominent NATO member and an influential player in the Middle East. However, I was a bit confused as to what three reasons prompted the choice of Turkey. From my understanding, the author of the post has selected Turkey due to its strategic geopolitical position, which allows it to serve as a communication channel between some of the world’s greatest powers. While it is certainly true, as Turkey “profits increasingly from its role as a bridge between Europe, Asia, and Africa,” this seems to be the only reason for choosing the country, which leaves me confused as to what the other rationales (Prince Michael of Liechtenstein 2018, para. 7). In regards to the analysis of NATO’s relationship with the Middle East from the perspective of Turkey, I wish the post would focus a bit more on the hypocrisy of NATO.
Turkey could have served as a perfect example of establishing the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with the goal of de-escalating conflict in the Broader Middle East, while simultaneously supporting military interventions against Kurds in Syria (Lang 2019). Then, the author could have drawn a parallel between the actions of Turkey and the peacekeeping efforts of other NATO members involved in colonialism, military occupation, and other atrocities in the Middle East (Alani 2005). These logical connections would make the post even more insightful and analytical.
Firstly, I would like to thank Logan for such an insightful and interesting take on the relationship between the North Atlantic Trading Organization (NATO) and the Middle East from the perspective of Germany. To start with, I want to note that the strategy used by Logan to select the country is genius. After all, it is crucial to have first-hand knowledge of the nation, its policies, and regulations to offer an introspective view of its activities in the global arena. In the middle of 20 century, the country was at a substantial disadvantage possessing almost no influence globally due to the events of World War I and the subsequent Nazi occupation of Europe (Hallam 2020). Thus, I especially appreciated how Logan chose Germany’s peculiar position in the world after World War II as one of the reasons behind his choice.
In regards to Logan’s analysis of Germany’s perspective on the relationship between NATO and the Middle East, some of the discussion post’s points were excellent. For instance, NATO sometimes does play a critical role in de-escalating military conflict in the region (Stolton 2020). Despite that, I believe it is crucial to recognize that most of the actions of NATO members serve some sort of self-interest, at least partially. This explains the negative image NATO tends to have in the Arab World. After all, it is hard for people, especially prominent Arab political leaders, to forget France’s violent colonial rule, “Italy’s involvement in Arab North Africa; the United Kingdom’s occupation of and controlling influence in the Gulf region; and the seemingly unlimited and unswerving support provided to Israel by the United States” (Alani 2005, para. 5). Therefore, NATO’s role in the Middle East is not only that of a peacekeeper but an abuser and manipulator as well.
Alani, Mustafa. “Arab Perspectives on NATO.” NATO Review, Web.
Lang, Hardin. “Displacement and Despair: The Turkish Invasion of Northeast Syria.” Relief Web, Web.
Prince Michael of Liechtenstein. “Turkey Has the Right to Protect Its National Interests.“ Geopolitical Intelligence Services. Web.