Our Staunch NATO Ally

The following video shows an event that took place earlier today at an ATM on a street in Istanbul, where three American servicemen were attacked by young Turkish militants.

The group that claimed responsibility for the attack (and made the video) is the Turkish Youth Union (Türkiye Gençlik Birliği, TGB), described in the wiki as a “left-wing nationalist revolutionary youth organization”, Kemalist in nature. In a European context (or an American one, for that matter), “left-wing nationalist” would be an oxymoron, but apparently not in Turkey.

It’s important to note that the political context for this attack is nationalist, but not Islamic. The TGB is an ideological enemy of the AKP, the governing party of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In Turkey both major political alternatives are nationalist and anti-American — from either the Islamic side, or from the secularist viewpoint of the followers of Kemal Ataturk.

Here’s a Reuters news story that gives more details about the incident:

Turkish nationalists assault U.S. sailors in Istanbul

ISTANBUL (Reuters) — A group of Turkish ultra-nationalists attacked three U.S. sailors on a crowded street in Istanbul on Wednesday, shouting “Yankee go home” and trying to pull hoods over their heads in an assault condemned by the U.S. embassy.

Video footage posted on the website of the ultra-nationalist Turkish Youth Union showed the attackers surrounding the sailors, calling them “murderers” and throwing orange paint at the men.

The attackers’ actions were an apparent reference to an incident in Iraq in July 2003, when U.S. forces detained a Turkish special forces unit, leading its members away for interrogation with hoods over their heads.

“Because we define you as murderers, as killers, we want you to get out of our land,” one of the attackers says in English, before the group chases the soldiers down a street lining the Bosphorus on the edge of Istanbul’s historic peninsula.

The U.S. embassy described the video, apparently filmed by one of the gang, as “appalling” and condemned the attack.

“(We) have no doubt the vast majority of Turks would join us in rejecting an action that so disrespects Turkey’s reputation for hospitality,” it said in a statement on its Twitter account.

Turkey has long been one of Washington’s key allies in the Middle East and is a member of the NATO military alliance, but anti-American sentiment runs deep in parts of society, particularly since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

A poll by the Pew Research group released at the end of October showed only 19 percent of Turks had a favorable view of the United States.

Hat tips: for the video, Vlad Tepes; for the article, LS.

22 thoughts on “Our Staunch NATO Ally

  1. Turkey’s membership of NATO is an odd relic of the Cold War: a missile and intelligence (sigint, elint and humint) gathering platform south across the Black Sea from the Soviet Union as well as a bulwark against further Soviet expansionism in the Caucasus. Now that its raison d’etre is a quarter of a century obsolete, it is timely and appropriate that Turkey be ejected.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was conceived as an umbrella group for the UK and Western European nations to enjoy US military assistance, aid and protection against the Soviet Bloc. Turkey is in no sense a Western or even European country. Whilst the guardians of Turkey’s Kemalist constitutionally secular state, its military, exercised active governmental or veto power, Turkey’s membership of NATO was tolerable as a matter of realpolitik. That is all in the past now.

    The writing is on the wall for the sooner rather than later demise of Turkey as a secular state, courtesy of Erdogan and his Islamist Welfare Party. Under the AKP long corroding rule Turkey’s conduct under has been consistently anti-Western and the secular senior military officers have been retired, weeded out and eclipsed by AKP placemen. Ditto with the judiciary and police.

    This would not be good for the educated secular faction of modern Turks, but as the article points out the secular nationalist left-wing TGB, the main opposition to Erdogan’s AKP is also anti-American, thus anti-NATO ( and anti-Western Europe). So a re-alignment of the West vis-a-vis Turkey is in order; not least because ingrates must be made to pay a price for their ingratitude.

    Expelling Turkey from NATO would bring the West many benefits.

    It has been solely out of deference to Turkey’s sensibilities for half a century, and especially during the period since 2003 that the West has not permitted a Kurdish nation-state to come into being. A just cause if ever there was one; the Kurds were promised their own state in 1918 by Britain and France, but were abandoned. Now the Kurds form the only effective secular, semi-democratic opposition to ISIS. And Turkey not only resists assistance to the Kurds, but far worse, functions as ISIS’ conduit to the outside world: volunteer fighters and money go into ISIS through Turkey and the oil that sustains ISIS goes out surreptitiously through Turkey.

    Then there is Turkey’s huge role in the westward transmission of heroin and opium from the Afghanistan and the Golden Crescent, which has rendered the Golden Triangle a minor player in the opiates trade.

    Then there is the interference in the internal political affairs of Germany by Turkey using the huge Turkish minority in the former. And the official slow 180 degree turn by Turkey against Israel since 2000.

    • Oh, I forgot to add, when NATO expels Turkey it could do so on the formal basis of asking Turkey to remove its military forces from Cyprus and thus end the 40 year illegitimate occupation* of the northern part of that island.

      And when Turkey refuses to do so, NATO could militarily assist Greece in helping Cyprus reassert sovereignty over the whole of the island.

      *Funny isn’t it how the unarguably illegal Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus that is nearly half a century old never gets any attention from the UN, the media, the academy, NGO’s, progressives, etc? Even I forgot about it in my haste to get a child off too school and post my original post. Yet those same entities and groups are utterly, maniacally, obsessed with another “occupation” of similar duration that arose from a failed war campaign just a couple of hundred kilometres east across the Mediterranean Sea. I wonder what explains the disparity in attention?

  2. A new generation of young is Turks up and at it again. Lets show ’em we’re not Armenians? These pretend NATO allies and pretend Europeans have their barber shops and hate factories everywhere. If the west has any real gumption left on the home front we had better start clearing this lot out soon or we will be the refugees. Two more years of Obama community organizer strategic thinking and questionable loyalty and Cameraman must be deeply concerning for many at this time.

  3. With all due respect, I’d say that the US Embassy statement is wrong. T he level of anti-American feeling in Turkey is quite high. I suspect that there will be rejoicing there from many over this incident.

    Also, the massive Turkish ego (as so well exemplified by Erdogan, et al) shouldn’t be underestimated.

    I just posted the following at Vlad Tepes:

    Turkey’s Today’s Zaman leaves no doubt as to the meaning of the sacks put on the American sailor’s heads. Apparently there was an incident in 2003 in Iraq in which American soldiers captured some Turkish soldiers (or operatives) and made them wear hoods for a period of interrogation. See Hood Event on Wikipedia. The humiliation lives on in the minds of some (perhaps many) Turks.

    The Turkish film “Kurtlar Vadisi” (“Valley of the Wolves”) was apparently made to right this wrong – it’s grossly anti-American and anti-Semitic. But this wasn’t enough revenge for these “ultranationalists” in Istanbul.


  4. > In a European context (or an American one, for that matter), “left-wing nationalist” would be an oxymoron<

    describes a member of: National Socialist Party or Nazi Party may refer to:

    National Socialist German Workers' Party, or Nazi Party no?

    • I’m talking about now. Hitler and Mussolini discredited leftist nationalism in all Western countries, permanently.

      In the 1930s, leftist nationalism was the chic, trendy ideology across Europe and (in modified form) the USA. But that was then; this is now.

      • I believe that the term “leftist-nationalist” is credible within a Muslim state with a fanatical Islamist bent. The “leftist” in this context measn merely semi-secular, as any party pretending to the term Kemalist ought to be.

        In a similar outlying vein, “right-wing” in Japan has nothing to do with what the Anglo worldview defines as “right,’ i.e. Toryism, Burke, Kirk etc. In Japan, “right” means Tojo fan, believer in the divinity of the Emperor etc. Anyone not of that ilk may be defined as “left wing.”

        Caveat: both Turkey and Japan have genuine leftists, i.e. socialists and communists.

          • Not in Japan, for sure. “Right,” by definition means a rigidly controlled and stratified Confucian society. But they have some leftist anarchists…

  5. The USA should not be there in the first place. Also:

    “Turkey has long been one of Washington’s key allies in the Middle East ”

    is just not true no matter how much anyone wants to think so. The true statement would be:

    “Turkey at present does not explicitly call for jihad on the USA, but finances multiple other regimes and terrorist oranizations that do.”

    • “Turkey at present does not explicitly call for jihad on the USA, but finances multiple other regimes and terrorist oranizations that do.”

      And that’s is enough for the USA and Europe to delude themselves and consider Turkey an ally. It became a genuine ally after massacring Armenians (1915), Assyrians (1918) , Greeks (1923) and Cypriots (1974), and helping Hamas (flotillas) to massacre the Jews.
      Turkey has never hidden its true feelings. But if western countries lavish tons of money on it, help her against Cyprus and Greece and Israel, and ignore its gross behaviour against Kurds, then Turkey, a parasite and Jizya receiver is a staunch ally. Little Britain and Sweden will testify to that. We should never forget who they were brother-in-arms with during the Great Wars and smaller wars.
      Infidels voluntarily give jizya and serve fawn, and bootlick islam. Heaven knows it is done voluntarily.

  6. Turkey maintains a number of Commonwealth War Cemeteries originating from the end of WW1. The area known as Gallipoli (pronunciation; Gal-lip-oli) was the birth place of the ANZAC legend and has had a memorial in place since Ataturk’s time commemorating the loss of many young Turkish and Australian lives at that place.

    The 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings is due April 25 (ANZAC Day) 2015, and there will be many Australians who will journey to Turkey to take part in that commemoration. Warnings are already being issued to future travellers to be wary of anti-Australian sentiment when in Turkey, which was never really a problem until Erdogan was elected into office and whose agenda has steadily dismantled the safeguards against militant Islam within Turkey that Ataturk had put in place.

    I had my own run in with some young Turkish males – while working as a cop in an outer Sydney suburb – who had been out celebrating in the city and on the way home via the train decided to do a little vandalism along the way. Even though they spoke perfect Australian their attitude was one of superiority and Turkish nationalism. And like the dealings I have had with Lebanese Muslims, what stuck out in my mind at the time was the complete rejection of the country and its values that they had been raised in!

    Turkey should be expelled from NATO and never allowed to become part of Europe.

    • If you’ve had dealings with Oz Lebanese Muslims, I am sure you are familiar with the term “Love, Leb-style.”

      BTW I have a friend who comes from a long line of tartan-wearing soldiers-of-the-empire. He grew up on his grandpa’s tales of WWI battles, including against the Ottoman army. Grandpa taught him a bit of ‘ol British military wisdom that pertains here: “The Turk is always at your throat or at your feet.”

      If only the nincompoops in the White House and at 10 Downing St. fathomed what this means, all the boondoggles of their misbegotten wars and risible diplomacy toward dar-al-Islam could have been prevented, and a more successful course charted. Ditto concerning jihad-from-within…

      • “Aussie pig, I’ll show you how we do it Leb style”. Was an utterance from the notorious Skaf gang of Lebanese Muslims to their female victims as they systematically raped their way across Sydney during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

        All of them are serving lengthy jail terms which of course is completely useless punishment to a Muslim doing what his ‘good book’ tells him to do.

        What a pity we abolished the death sentence!

        On the Turk in WW1. Actually the ANZACs came to have a grudging respect for ‘Johnny Turk’ to the point where the Light Horse soldiers actually protected their Turkish prisoners from the Arabs in Palestine who liked to slip into the lines at night and slit Turkish prisoners throats. If you ever get a chance to read anything at all about Aussie ‘exploits’ during that war, look up Beersheba or Beersheva as it is now known and the last great cavalry charge of that war by the Australian Light Horse.

        And good old Grandpa knew exactly what he was talking about!

        • “What a pity we abolished the death sentence!”

          It can be applied any time, as the 1400 fathers in Rotherham should have done, or should at least be considering. Justice must be seen to be done, and if the rulers of a country have broken their “social contract” to protect the population, as they obviously did in the above case, justice will have to be administered according to natural human instincts.

          As for the jailed “Lebs” in Australia, call the administration of realistic justice a “pre-emptive strike” if you must, because we all know that it will be “back to business” as soon as these “Lebs” are released.

        • Yes, I don’t think any in the Skaf rapist gang used the word “love” in their taunting of the “skips”.

        • keelie, I can envision a time when summary justice will prevail at the hands of the many who have been treated so badly and denied so much, by so few.

  7. If you make your career about playing with snakes, America, don’t come crying to the rest of us when you get bit. Grow up already. Get out of the world, and leave the [persons with disgusting traits] to [destroy each other]. You need to focus on what got you where you are: making America better, and [do away with] the rest.

  8. Guide to brain:

    Pro Kemalist–good
    Anti Erdogan–good
    Pro ISIS–bad
    Anti USA–bad
    Anti Kurd–bad
    Anti Armenian–bad
    Pro Sunni–bad
    Anti Shia–good
    Pro and anti Germany–bad
    Pro Nato–mostly bad

    • Dear WP

      Reasonable “Guide to Brain” except:

      1. “Pro-Kemalist – good”. Well, better for Turkey and with qualifications better than AKP, but hardly “good”

      2. “Pro and anti Germany–bad”. Why is “Pro Germany” bad? Seriously, I don’t comprehend.

  9. What a [less than brilliant] American, haha. He remains standing there like his left teachers told him, and Obama is repeating.

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