What a wicked game to play…: Turkey, Russia, and the obsolete NATO

dreamstime_l_13265318“1945-1990 – Russophobia
1990-2015 – Islamophobia
2015- ?? – Russophobia AND Islamophobia. 
Isn’t it time the MI Complex created a new bogey-man?” 
― Arindam Mukherjee

A couple of weeks ago, two Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian bomber near the Syrian border. It is unclear whether the collision happened over Syrian soil or Turkish soil. Anyway, normal procedures would have been for the Turkish army to redirect the Russian plane to other territories, not in any manner to shoot it down. Even so, Turkish Prime Minister Sir Davutoglu was fast to consult the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), complaining about his airspace having been violated and seeking reassurance that the alliance would stand by Turkey’s side.

These events were a wake-up call for observers to realise the implications of having Turkey as a NATO member as the situation in the Middle East is becoming increasingly fragile. Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which stipulates the core principles of the organisation, mentions that an attack on any member is an attack on all members. Any retaliation from Russia could potentially lead to a confrontation with the 28 members that form the alliance. In short, the world could see the start of WWIII as many commentators were fast to claim.

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