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Military Turks Stand Divided on NATO Border Monitoring Proposal

Sputnik News

10:37 11.02.2016(updated 11:07 11.02.2016)

Members of Turkish military circles are divided on the issue of having NATO monitor its borders for migrants, as has been proposed by Turkey, Greece and Germany.

The idea of NATO monitoring Turkey's borders, both on land and at sea, has created a stir in the country's military, with some appealing to Turkish nationalism and others appealing to NATO as a force to deter conflict with Russia.

NATO members are considering an operation mostly to monitor human trafficking on the Greek-Turkish border, as well as Turkey's border with Syria.

'Appealing to NATO for such assistance is [an act of] disrespect for our history and the great price that our people have paid for their independence during the national liberation war,' Koray Gürbüz, a military expert at Ankara's Bilkent University and prominent veterans' activist told Sputnik Turkiye.

According to Erdoğan Karakuş, the head of Turkey's retired officers' association and retired air force general, border monitoring by other NATO members is normal and provided for by Article Five of the treaty.

'Because of that, I would not consider a proposal on the implementation of the control and monitoring of our borders by NATO countries a violation of our national sovereignty,' Karakuş told Sputnik Turkiye.

Some NATO members maintain that Turkey is a sponsor of Daesh and to blame for the European migrant crisis, and claim that the prospect of confrontation with Russia are behind Turkey's proposal, according to Karakuş. Border monitoring then would allow NATO members to verify their claims on Turkey's Daesh connection, said Karakuş.

Gürbüz, however, believes that NATO is itself a danger when it comes to confrontation with Russia. He also accused other NATO countries of supporting both Daesh and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is banned in Turkey as 'terrorist.'

'In my opinion, Turkey's biggest problem is NATO military bases established on our territory. It is because of these bases that we have been threatened by our neighbors. They contribute to the deterioration of our position in the region and cause harm to our relations with countries in the region,' Gürbüz told Sputnik Turkiye.


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