If Erdogan continues on his path, some fear a nuclear Turkey that accomplishes the goal of a permanent Islamic state.
A nuclear Turkey is a real possibility because we have already placed nuclear weapons in the country. William Kirkpatrick writes at RodMartin.org,
During and after the coup attempt, Erdogan shut down Incirlik Air Base, which is home to 1,500 American soldiers as well as other NATO troops. The Turkish government cut off the base’s electricity supply, temporarily suspended flights, and arrested the base commander, General Ercan Van. The base reportedly houses 50 nuclear warheads. The bombs are controlled by the U.S. forces in Turkey, but could they by means sudden or gradual fall under the control of Turkey? And if they did, would the U.S. dare to do anything about it?
After the president’s actions in consolidating power and crushing enemies in the wake of the supposed coup-attempt, this fear cannot be discounted.
What is more alarming, Erdogan’s relationship to Islamic extremism. I’ve already pointed out some evidence that Turkey is permitting ISIS to grow on their border. In many other ways, Turkey has treated ISIS more as an ally than an enemy.
Kirkpatrick is concerned that Erdogan wants to convert Turkey into a new Islamic caliphate:
Erdogan’s power is now nearly absolute—not unlike the absolute power of a sultan. According to some, this has been his goal all along. One indication is that Erdogan has built himself a thousand-room presidential palace that is attended by guards dressed in Ottoman-era uniforms.
If Erdogan does try to establish a caliphate, where does that leave ISIS? Would they go quietly into the dark night of oblivion? Or would they find a place in the new caliphate?
As you may have noticed, alliances in the Middle East are constantly shifting. It’s not inconceivable that ISIS would someday pledge allegiance to a neo-Ottoman caliphate—although such an event might have to be preceded by the demise of their current caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The truth is, Erdogan has been something of a friend and benefactor of ISIS.
Remember, the E.U. is already entangled with Erdogan as a solution to their migrant problem. And Erdogan is using the leverage he has as a result to force rapid visa-free access to Europe for all Turks. He did this in part because he was not allowed to televise himself to a political rally in Germany!
The Western powers are in danger of “founding” the first nuclear caliphate.