Friday, November 27, 2015

Why is Turkey Not in Hot Water?

By Daniel McAdams

 By any estimate, Turkey should be in hot water today. First, after violating Greek airspace thousands of times per year, after routinely violating Syrian airspace and territory in support of jihadists seeking to overthrow the government, Turkish President Racep Erdogan decided to shoot down a Russian SU-24 that may or may not have veered into Turkish airspace for a maximum of 17 seconds. In order to carry out such an operation, it is clear that the Turkish F-16s would have had to be lying in wait to ambush the Russians. Fellow NATO allies are trying to make supportive sounds, but behind the scenes we hear there is much grumbling over such an astonishingly reckless act. After all, the Russians were not attacking Turkey they were attacking jihadists in Syria. That could not be considered an assault on Turkish interests…unless of course Turkish interests are in backing the jihadists.
Second, we read today that the Italian authorities have seized 800 shotguns headed to Belgium — which was on lockdown last week over a terror threat — shipped from Turkey! The Italian newspaper La Stampa reported:
A load of about 800 shotguns, from Turkey to Germany, Holland and Belgium, has been discovered and seized by the Financial Police and the Customs at the Port of Trieste. The weapons of war were transported, without authorization, by a tractor-trailer driven by a Dutch citizen turkish. The cargo consisted of 781 shotguns model “Winchester SXP” from 12-51 cm, 66 shotguns “Winchester SXP” from 12-41 cm. 15 rifle and kicking.
Tir had landed in Trieste on 23 November. The weapons were contained in hundreds of cardboard boxes, each of which containing a shotgun, all directed in Belgium. Given the peculiarities of the load, its origin and destination, the Financial Police and customs officials have declined to elaborate documentation. Although there were no irregularities of customs, it had not been requested permission to the authorities of public security for the transportation.
Who is shipping hundreds of shotguns to on-high-terrorist-alert Belgium from Turkey…and why?
Finally, news about another arms shipment out of Turkey. The editor-in-chief and a reporter from Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet have been arrested and charged with treason and espionage for publishing an exposé — complete with photographs — of a truck convoy transferring weapons from Turkey’s intelligence service (MIT) to jihadists in Syria. The article, published in May, was largely ignored in western mainstream media. The charges of espionage and treason could bring the reporter and editor a life sentence in prison.
The Turkish government’s increasingly reckless behavior and support for those in Syria the US has claimed to be fighting raises the question why are there no repercussions from Washington. Why only words of support?
Daniel McAdams is Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
The above originally appeared at

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