15 May 2022

This May Not Be What It Seems

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

My reaction to this was that this was part of Erdoğan's pissing contest with the US over the Turkish purchase of the Russian S-400 surface to air missile system, which resulted in the cancellation of sales of F35s to Ankara.

It may be more than that.  Sweden has exchanged consular officials with the "Kurdistan Region" in northern Iraq, and as such, they are much closer to a formal recognition of Kurdish independence than any other nation in Europe.

A central tenet of Turkish foreign policy since the founding of modern Turkey, has been the vociferous opposition to Kurdish self-determination and autonomy all Kurds, whether in Turkey, or in neighboring regions.

This may not be an easily resolved issue. 

My guess is that the US response will be to pressure Swedish officials to distance themselves from the government of Iraqi Kurdistan, because screwing the Kurds has been US policy for more than 40 years.

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