Turns out Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not the forgiving kind (who knew?): after Friday’s vote in the United States Senate which unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the 1915 mass murder of Armenians by the Turks as “genocide,” Erdogan erupted on Sunday, threatening to close down two bases in Turkey where US soldiers are stationed – “if necessary.”
“If necessary, we will hold discussions with all our delegations, and if necessary, we may close Incirlik [air base in southern Adana province] and Kurecik [radar station in eastern Malatya province],” Erdogan told Turkish TV.
The Kurecik Radar Station is a military installation located in southeastern Turkey which is being used by NATO as an early warning radar against ballistic missile attacks from Iran. From Russia, too, but few expect Russia to fire its ballistic rockets any time soon. It’s all about Iran.
But the Kurecik radar can be substituted by increasing the US monitoring facilities in Saudi Arabia and the former Soviet republics. Incirlik, on the other hand, presents a much bigger problem.
Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, near Syria, is home to the US Air Force 39th Air Base Wing with its tactical nuclear weapons which include as many as 50 B61 nuclear bombs. It is not clear at all these days if an irate Erdogan who orders the US aircraft off his land would also allow the Americans to take with them their nuclear bombs. That conflict may be in our near future.
“By passing my Armenian Genocide resolution, the Senate finally stood up to confirm history,” said the bill’s co-author Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Erdogan was not amused. “It is very important for both sides that the US does not take irreparable steps in our relations,” he warned.
“Is it possible to speak about America without mentioning Indians?” he asked, referring to Indians with wigwams, not Indians with curry. “It is a shameful moment in US history. Similar things happened in Africa. Is it possible to put aside the French massacres in Rwanda, Algeria?”
“They did slave trade in cells from Senegal to America,” the wounded Turkish president lectured his Western former friends. “What will we do to explain these to the international community? We have documents in our archive. We will reveal that the history of the West is the history of racism and colonialism. While all these massacres and genocides are standing, they cannot say anything to the nation which has a proud history like us.”
Following which, Erdogan proceeded to introduce his own genocidal plans regarding the Kurds, both inside Turkey, where they count for about 30% of the population and are not allowed to speak their language nor study and display their national culture – and in northern Syria, where the invading Turkish army has been engaged in a war against the local Kurds.
Erdogan insisted that the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and the Kurdish terrorist underground PKK in Turkey were one and the same, and so, somehow, by murdering Kurds in Syria, his military is securing the homeland against the Turkish Kurds’ terrorism.
And, of course, it won’t be an interview with Erdogan if it didn’t touch on his former ally and current arch-enemy, Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic preacher who has lived in the United States since 1999. His movement has been given the name FETÖ (a Turkish acronym meaning Fethullahist Terrorist Organization).
Erdogan complained that the number of FETO members is very high, especially in the US, Germany, France, Belgium and Greece, and the fact that they are given the opportunity to settle in those countries. He planned to speak on the phone Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about extraditing FETO terrorists back to Turkey. In the past he insisted that the US extradite Gülen himself, who happens to be a naturalized American.
No one is as miserable as the strong man.