As the whole world is focused with great concern on the Russian invasion in Ukraine since 24 February, and while fatalities on the warring sides increase by each day with mounting sanctions being imposed on Russia by NATO countries, it is now more likely, according to a German journalist, that other despotic regimes will also be encouraged to occupy their neighbours after the model of Russia.
In her column in Heise.de, Elke Dangeleit made an assessment of the situation saying:
“As international diplomacy is busy dealing with the war in Ukraine, other despotic regimes can feel encouraged to occupy their neighbouring countries too. A candidate for this is Erdoğan’s Turkey, as he has already practiced this in North Syria multiple times.”
She continued to underline how the Turkish occupation of Afrin in North Syria, had gone virtually unnoticed in the world:
“Turkey, as a NATO member, had invaded the northwestern canton of Afrin on 20 February in 2018, completely violating international laws on human rights, and most of the international media had simply stuck to the Turkish propaganda, in contrast to today’s reporting on the crisis in Ukraine. There were no reports on people’s suffering [in Afrin] under the bombs of Turkey, which was only made possible by Russia, as they allowed Turkey to have access to the airspace over Afrin. There was only a deafening silence on the part of the US, EU and Germany then.”
‘No sanctions against NATO member Turkey for human rights violations’
“As Turkey invaded areas around Serekaniye [Ras al_Ayn] and Gire Spi [Tell Abyad] in the fall of 2019, in violation of international laws, the Western states were either silent, or simply ‘worried’ or ‘concerned’, despite a UN report documenting massive human right violations. There has been no sanctions against the NATO member Turkey whatsoever for the violation of human rights laws.”
Dangeleit stated that the invasion of Ukraine presented a new opportunity for the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan:
“It is not unlikely that Erdogan makes use of the recent opportunity to further occupy North Syria, this time under the shadow of the war in Ukraine. And he doesn’t have to fear sanctions like those Russia has been facing for the last couple of days.”
‘Turkish armed drones used in invasion welcomed by Ukraine, praised in the West’
She then noted that Turkey has been exporting its armed drones to Ukraine which is welcomed not only by Ukraine, but by Western countries as well.
“At the beginning of February, Turkish president Erdogan visited the Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelenskyy, who call each other friends, and they signed a deal for further deliveries of armed drones. Their friendship was first established with the delivery of Turkish Bayraktar TB-2 war drones in April 2021.”
She then pointed to the Western perception of these drones, used in one case as an instrument of invasion in violation of international laws, and in another case as exports to Ukraine, as she referred to a news article, published by the German daily Zeit, quoting:
“These human-less war machines have already been used by Turkey in Syria and Libya, and were recently delivered to Azerbaijanis during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. These Turkish drones were decisive for the winner of these wars.”
“For whatever reason, the Ukrainian president is not interested with the fact that Erdogan is using these weapons in southeastern Turkey against his own people, and in North Syria against a democratic government.”