You have made a distinction between the schemers and enforcers of the coup. Who do you think has planned the coup?
I don't think that this was planned within Turkey. Looking at the timing, I believe it was planned by the US intelligence agencies. Of course, the US should not be considered as a singular entity. This coup looks like the work of neocons who are a group existing within the US administration and intelligence.
Are these neocons an independent entity than the political administration in the US?
I do not believe so. They have agents who infiltrated the political administration. There are many different executives who have different views. Neocons are even considering removing Turkey from the NATO. Moreover, we know the attitude of the US media towards the coup. We have seen that they waited until the results were clear. Ralph Peters, for instance, alleged that this coup was the last chance in order to prevent Turkey's Islamization. There were comments of similar nature. Therefore, I believe there is a group within the US administration who has supported the coup, while others employed a wait-and-see approach. Obama was one of those.
There were allegations stating that Turkey's NATO membership would be revised. How will the future relations be between Turkey and NATO?
We should admit that the US is the power behind NATO. However, we do not have to either align ourselves with the US or be their enemy, just because of it. We have to have realistic relations with the US. Our relations may deteriorate because of Gülen's extradition and the coup attempt. The US cannot clearly state that they will not extradite Gülen to Turkey, but they may allow him to escape to another country, trying to fool Turkey. Therefore, I do not believe the relations between the US and Turkey will ever be the same again. I believe Turkey has to establish regional alliances with countries such as Russia, Iraq and Syria.
Turkey is a middle sized country and this kind of countries can survive only by exploiting the conflicts among superpowers. If Turkey aligns itself with a powerful country, the results may be disastrous. Turkey has to evaluate the relations from a strategic point of view. Otherwise, the issues will persist. I expect Turkey to establish better relations with the Eurasian countries. This means pursuing independent policies without leaving the NATO.
I also believe that we should abort our EU membership process. EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs EU. We also do not have to tolerate insults which claim that Turkey can enter the EU only in the year 3000. Turkey has to realize its power. They are trying to exploit our ethnic and religious soft spots. Thank God, our people are sensible.
Turkey should never pursue sectarian and ethnic policies; it has to employ a uniting policy. Turkey should also protect its national interests.
Turkey is getting closer with Russia once again. Are there limits to this? Could Turkey and Russia compromise for a common resolution in Syria?
They actually can. Both Turkey and Russia wants to protect Syria's integrity. The US, Israel and Europe, on the other hand, want a divided Syria. As Turkey was alone in defending Syria's integrity, it had to act according to the US. With the normalization, Turkey may have a more balanced policy. As a side note, I believe that China should also involve itself in this issue.
O n the other hand, I believe Turkey and Syria are very similar countries in regards with ethnic, sectarian structure. If the Syrian civil war hadn't happened, I would have desired the unification of the two countries as a confederacy. There were beautiful developments between Turkey and Syria, just before 2011.
Turkey needs to find a solution to protect Syria's integrity. I believe cooperation with Russia will be immensely effective in finding this solution. Therefore, I believe the normalization between Russia and Turkey will change the balances in Syria.
While the army is being restructured, do you believe Turkey will isolate itself in regard of foreign policy?
Turkey doesn't have to isolate itself. Turkey possesses enough power not to do so. We need the army to fight against existing internal and external threats; therefore, Turkey does not have the luxury to isolate itself. While using the existing consolidated power, I believe we can healthily restructure the rest and conclude this process.
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