During the Cold War, the world was divided into two opposing camps: NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Being the leading powers of each group, the U.S. and Soviet Russia had strong ties with their allied countries. They acted as the "guardian angels" of their own alliance. From intelligence activities and technological competition to political, economic and cultural issues, member states of each alliance were acting in solidarity with each other.
With the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War, NATO emerged as the unrivaled political alliance in the face of an isolated Russia. However, the emerging "new world order" has turned into a global disorder. Especially, Middle Eastern countries have found themselves amid political, economic and cultural chaos.
By the end of the Cold War, the internal order of NATO has also undergone a dramatic change. NATO's first trauma occurred in Italy in the 1990s when Operation Gladio was exposed.
Regarding Turkey, civilian politics have long been under the sway of military tutelage since the coup d'etat of 1960. Although it is difficult to decipher the powers behind the coups of 1960 and 1971, the military intervention of 1980 was openly supported by the U.S.
Although Turkey's political system was restructured after 1980, military tutelage over civilian politics had remained one of Turkish politics' harsh realities. Behind the scene of political competition, the army had been the true center of political power in Turkey.
In 1996, the Welfare Party (RP), which was deemed by the Turkish Jacobins to be a political party belonging to the periphery, had come to political power. Military tutelage took various measures to overthrow the RP's coalition government, including staging a so-called "post-modern coup d'état."
Although the coalition government was overthrown and the RP was banned from politics, Turkish people clearly understood, thanks to the proliferation and enhancement of the means of communication, the secret players operating behind the political stage. It was clear that Turkey was ruled not by elected politicians, but by an alliance formed between the members of the army, media and the business world, who pledged loyalty to the U.S. In fact, not only Italy and Turkey, but all the European countries had been secretly controlled by the U.S., the leader of the NATO.
Founded in 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) governments immediately took up the challenge of facing and eliminating military tutelage in Turkey. While the former, expired military tutelage was being replaced by the fresh, global militarism of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan succeeded in mobilizing the people not only in preventing the July 15, 2016, coup attempt but also in eliminating the FETÖ members from state bodies. Although hundreds of civilians were killed and the national assembly was bombed, the people's resistance against the coup attempt heralded the end of militarism in Turkey. Today, tens of thousands of FETÖ members are in custody.
Certainly, the leading Western powers have not been content with Turkey's independent foreign policy attitude in the post-Cold War era. As the remainder of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey's rising strength in her region of influence seems to disquiet her Western allies. Adopting a multidimensional and multidirectional foreign policy attitude, Erdoğan's strong leadership turns Turkey into an independent and respected player in the Middle East and beyond.
While Russia poses security problems in terms of the control of its allies, NATO has turned into a domestic security issue for its member states. Not only Italy and Turkey but also Germany, France and other members of the alliance must face the following question: Does NATO control its independent member states by secretly manipulating their internal affairs and even by staging or supporting coup d'etats?
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