On Monday, July 15, 2019 the Turkish Heritage Organization (THO) hosted a panel discussion examining U.S. and Turkey Relations while also recognizing the shifting nature of U.S.-Turkey relationships in the three years since the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. The event featured Former Deputy Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General (ret.) Ergin Saygun.
On the occasion of the crisis in US-Turkish relations, Gen. Saygun said the S-400 is a small problem and that the US wished most of all the safety of Israel and its energy routes, and in fulfilling its plans it seeks the neuralization of Israel’s enemies, first Iraq, then Syria, and in the end it will attempt to destroy Turkey.
After opening remarks from THO President Ali Cinar and Ambassador Serdar Kilic, the panel opened with the first question, on the current status and background on the U.S.-Turkish relationship, from Mark Hall to former Congressman Whitfield. Whitfield discussed that “we are in uncharted waters in the U.S.-Turkish bilateral relationship with the delivery of the S-400s to Turkey recently…As long as we have the opportunity though to keep talking with one another it will take time but we will rebuild.”
During his remarks, Gen. Saygun gave examples of Iraq and Syria and said that the states that are hostile to Israel have been destroyed and that “At the end of this route is Turkey’s turn. That’s what I say from the bottom of my heart. And I am very sad about it.”
Referring to the S-400 issue, Saigung said “I’m afraid the problems between Turkey and the US are much more than the S-400. In my opinion the S-400 is a small problem. ”
The US does not want Turkey to become a regional power
The retired general said the problem in Turkish-US relations is not limited to whether Turkey is purchasing the S-400 or F-35, or not and continued:
According to him, If Turkey accepts the S-400, there will be other demands on the table. They [US} will tell Turkey to not trade with Iran, and if Turkey says yes, the US will counter force them to accept the Kurdish state that according to Saygun the US is setting up in Syria. The retired Turkish general concluded that If Turkey objects to that, then the US will try and stop their illegal drilling in the eastern Med.
For Saygun the problem is not the S-400 and the F-35, it is that the US does not accept Turkey’s independent foreign policy and does not want it to become a regional power. According to Saigung, the biggest issue is Israel’s security.
Retired Lieutenant General Sayung said about the F-35: “Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 production program was debated ten years ago in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Congress. That’s because if Turkey receives the F-35s, the balance in the Middle East will be reversed. Israel will lose its air superiority now.
For the US and the West in the Middle East there are two serious issues. One is Israel and the other is energy sources. There is no Israeli-friendly state in the Middle East. They can, however, create one. The independent Kurdish state. That is enough; No, you have to destroy the enemies. ”
Saygun, having said that Iraq and Syria have already been destroyed, underlined that now Turkey’s turn comes.
They can lock all the weapons we have
Finally, Saygun said: “In the end, Turkey’s turn will come. That’s what I say from the bottom of my heart. And I’m sorry about that. But this is the truth.”
“But do not expect me to defend myself against the US with US weapons. If you get a weapon from the US, they do not give you the source codes. The US keeps them hidden. This means that whenever they wants they can lock these weapons. ”
The Turkish general said the US should show an understanding of Turkey’s legitimate defense and security needs and stop threatening it when it tries to improve its defense.