COMMENTARY: TURKEY'S ZERO PROBLEM FOREIGN POLICY AND ITS MULTIPLES
By Edmond Y. Azadian

http://www.mirrorspectator.com/2012/06/14/commentary-turkeys-zero-problem-foreign-policy-and-its-multiples/
June 14, 2012 12:05 pm

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Turkey's hawkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu entered the foreign
policy arena disguised as a dove, advocating a new foreign policy
for his country that would reduce to zero all the problems with its
neighbors. Since Mr. Davutoglu prefers to define his country's foreign
policy in mathematical terms, the results or the sums of that policy
can be measured in the same mathematical terms.

Mr. Davutoglu's zero was multiplied with many zeros to give a zero
result as appraised by Armenia's Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.

The protocols with Armenia yielded a zero. Negotiations with Cyprus
regressed, rather than progressed, when Turkey refused to abide by
the European Union's demand to open up its ports and airports for
Cypriot transport. Next, after kissing and hugging President Bashar
al Assad of Syria, Turkey emerged as the vanguard in undermining that
country's sovereignty. Turkey engineered a stand off with Israel,
and finally, after signing a $20-billion energy agreement with Iran,
and thumbing the warnings from the West, relations between the two
nations are frosty.

All these problems - far from being reduced to zero - have inexplicably
boosted the Turkish leaders' arrogance. At the NATO conference in
Chicago last month, Ankara insisted on keeping out

Israel and the NATO leadership gave in. The Turkish Israeli policy is
multifaceted and that apparent hostility also has a silver lining; had
Turkey been really hurting Israeli interests, the latter's operatives
in Washington would tame Ankara right away. Instead, Israel giving
in to Turkey's quest allowed Ankara to gain brownie points in the
Arab world and thus in the end to boost Israel's basic interests in
eliminating unfriendly regimes in the region, one by one. After Iraq
and Libya, now it is Syria's turn. The collapse of Assad's regime,
to which Turkey is fully subscribed, has more value for Israel than
an apparent defeat at a Chicago conference.

Washington fully understands - and, in fact, orchestrates - these
multi-level policies.

Since 2005, Turkey has begun the accession negotiations with the
European Union. Turkey wants to have its cake and eat it. The EU has
set some basic conditions for Turkey to be eligible for membership;
the EU requests the removal of article 301 from Turkish penal code,
the resolution of the Cypriot problem, the opening of borders with
Armenia and the recognition of (all) genocides. Ankara refuses to
abide by those conditions and wishes to be entitled for membership.

Recently, Turkish leaders have raised the ante and puffed their chests
further, pretending that the EU needs their country rather than the
other way around.

On the sidelines of the EU-Turkey talks, Mr. Davutoglu has participated
in a joint press conference with the EU foreign policy chief, Baroness
Catherine Ashton, and the EU enlargement commissioner, Stefan Fule.

Davutoglu has made outrageous announcements, including freezing
relations with the EU as long as Cyprus serves as president, from July
1, 2012 through January 2013. In addition, Turkey will block countries
and companies exploring oil and gas within Cyprus's continental shelf.

He has particularly indicated: "EU-Turkey relations and the political
contacts we are currently establishing will continue as they are. Yet
no ministry or organization of the Turkish Republic will take part
in any activity that will be presided by southern Cyprus."

For his part, Egemen Bagis, the Turkish minister in charge of EU
affairs, has added: "Turkey will determinedly progress in its course
towards the EU."

The 25 nations constituting the EU have agreed to Cyprus'
presidency. Yet Turkey, still not a member, has been defying their
decision. This unbridled bullying must give a pre-taste to all members
of the EU who wish to admit Turkey in the union. Armenia's foreign
policy architects believe that if Turkey's joins the EU, by extension
Armenia will be bordering Europe. Now they can predict what to expect
from that Europeanized neighbor.

Any observer at this press conference would expect that Baroness
Ashton would stand up and tell Mr. Davutoglu that beggars cannot be
choosers. But instead, what do we see? The Baroness, who when in
Yerevan, walks and talks like a commanding general, radiating the
arrogance of power through her body language, has become a pussycat in
front of the Turks. Instead she thanks Turkey for sheltering nearly
27,000 Syrian refugees who have fled violence in their country,
where forces loyal to President Assad [the Syrian army] are waging a
crackdown on an uprising. She would rather thank Turkey for playing
its surrogate role perfectly by hosting a Syrian government in exile,
by training and arming mercenaries to wreak havoc in a country which
was one of the most stable nations in the Middle East.

The Baroness concludes her remarks by adding: "We are horrified by
the violence and determined to work together in support of solutions."

Today arms and money are pouring into Syria, mostly through the Turkish
border and raising the level of violence to such an atrocious level
where it will be convenient to blame the government forces, which are
trying to bring order and save the lives of citizens caught in the
crossfire of the army and foreign intruders. Turkey has been enhancing
its power by efficiently executing assignments from the West and as
compensation, it is allowed even to bully the European Union.

All indications are there to conclude that Turkey is ready to
accomplish another dirty job in the region, when pressure on Iran
heats up, after the collapse of the regime in Syria.

Turkey's hawkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu entered the foreign
policy arena disguised as a dove, advocating a new foreign policy
for his country that would reduce to zero all the problems with its
neighbors. Since Mr. Davutoglu prefers to define his country's foreign
policy in mathematical terms, the results or the sums of that policy
can be measured in the same mathematical terms.

Mr. Davutoglu's zero was multiplied with many zeros to give a zero
result as appraised by Armenia's Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.

The protocols with Armenia yielded a zero. Negotiations with Cyprus
regressed, rather than progressed, when Turkey refused to abide by
the European Union's demand to open up its ports and airports for
Cypriot transport. Next, after kissing and hugging President Bashar
al Assad of Syria, Turkey emerged as the vanguard in undermining that
country's sovereignty. Turkey engineered a stand off with Israel,
and finally, after signing a $20-billion energy agreement with Iran,
and thumbing the warnings from the West, relations between the two
nations are frosty.

All these problems - far from being reduced to zero - have inexplicably
boosted the Turkish leaders' arrogance. At the NATO conference in
Chicago last month, Ankara insisted on keeping out

Israel and the NATO leadership gave in. The Turkish Israeli policy is
multifaceted and that apparent hostility also has a silver lining; had
Turkey been really hurting Israeli interests, the latter's operatives
in Washington would tame Ankara right away. Instead, Israel giving
in to Turkey's quest allowed Ankara to gain brownie points in the
Arab world and thus in the end to boost Israel's basic interests in
eliminating unfriendly regimes in the region, one by one. After Iraq
and Libya, now it is Syria's turn. The collapse of Assad's regime,
to which Turkey is fully subscribed, has more value for Israel than
an apparent defeat at a Chicago conference.

Washington fully understands - and, in fact, orchestrates - these
multi-level policies.

Since 2005, Turkey has begun the accession negotiations with the
European Union. Turkey wants to have its cake and eat it. The EU has
set some basic conditions for Turkey to be eligible for membership;
the EU requests the removal of article 301 from Turkish penal code,
the resolution of the Cypriot problem, the opening of borders with
Armenia and the recognition of (all) genocides. Ankara refuses to
abide by those conditions and wishes to be entitled for membership.

Recently, Turkish leaders have raised the ante and puffed their chests
further, pretending that the EU needs their country rather than the
other way around.

On the sidelines of the EU-Turkey talks, Mr. Davutoglu has participated
in a joint press conference with the EU foreign policy chief, Baroness
Catherine Ashton, and the EU enlargement commissioner, Stefan Fule.

Davutoglu has made outrageous announcements, including freezing
relations with the EU as long as Cyprus serves as president, from July
1, 2012 through January 2013. In addition, Turkey will block countries
and companies exploring oil and gas within Cyprus's continental shelf.

He has particularly indicated: "EU-Turkey relations and the political
contacts we are currently establishing will continue as they are. Yet
no ministry or organization of the Turkish Republic will take part
in any activity that will be presided by southern Cyprus."

For his part, Egemen Bagis, the Turkish minister in charge of EU
affairs, has added: "Turkey will determinedly progress in its course
towards the EU."

The 25 nations constituting the EU have agreed to Cyprus'
presidency. Yet Turkey, still not a member, has been defying their
decision. This unbridled bullying must give a pre-taste to all members
of the EU who wish to admit Turkey in the union. Armenia's foreign
policy architects believe that if Turkey's joins the EU, by extension
Armenia will be bordering Europe. Now they can predict what to expect
from that Europeanized neighbor.

Any observer at this press conference would expect that Baroness
Ashton would stand up and tell Mr. Davutoglu that beggars cannot be
choosers. But instead, what do we see? The Baroness, who when in
Yerevan, walks and talks like a commanding general, radiating the
arrogance of power through her body language, has become a pussycat in
front of the Turks. Instead she thanks Turkey for sheltering nearly
27,000 Syrian refugees who have fled violence in their country,
where forces loyal to President Assad [the Syrian army] are waging a
crackdown on an uprising. She would rather thank Turkey for playing
its surrogate role perfectly by hosting a Syrian government in exile,
by training and arming mercenaries to wreak havoc in a country which
was one of the most stable nations in the Middle East.

The Baroness concludes her remarks by adding: "We are horrified by
the violence and determined to work together in support of solutions."

Today arms and money are pouring into Syria, mostly through the Turkish
border and raising the level of violence to such an atrocious level
where it will be convenient to blame the government forces, which are
trying to bring order and save the lives of citizens caught in the
crossfire of the army and foreign intruders. Turkey has been enhancing
its power by efficiently executing assignments from the West and as
compensation, it is allowed even to bully the European Union.

All indications are there to conclude that Turkey is ready to
accomplish another dirty job in the region, when pressure on Iran
heats up, after the collapse of the regime in Syria.

That will add another zero to Mr. Davutoglu's "peaceful" foreign
policy.