Turkey lied and Russians died
In the two days since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, some facts have emerged.
From a comparative examination of the evidence produced by both sides, the Russian plane appears to have been in Syrian airspace – contrary to Turkey's claims – at the time of the attack. There is no clear evidence that the Russian warplane ever crossed into Turkish airspace, other than less than credible claims by Turkey that are more than offset by the flight path tracings released by Russia.
Turkey is an "airspace violation hypocrite," given how this nation has repeatedly (i.e., thousands of times) violated the airspace of its neighbors – to their protests. And when one of its planes was shot down a few years ago after crossing into Syrian airspace, Turkey claimed that such brief and nonaggressive (aka not on a clear attack pattern) airspace violations were not sufficient grounds to fire on its warplanes. Now Turkey shoots down a Russian warplane that was clearly not on an attack route toward Turkey, and was not even likely in Turkish airspace, and Turkey's leadership – along with far too much of NATO playing the Turkish apologist – claims it had a justifiable right to defend its sovereignty. Pot, meet kettle.
A letter from Turkey to the United Nations was released by Wikileaks, who then did some basic math to show that Turkey's claims regarding the length of the purported Russian airspace violation would have apparently meant the Russian warplane was traveling at, or very near, stall speed. Hardly a likely scenario. The international editor of Channel 4 News also questioned how a professional-grade "Turkish TV crew was in the right place, filming in the right direction as [the] Russian plane [was] shot down." Convenient, all too convenient.
During the incident, a Russian pilot was killed while parachuting from the downed plane, as was a Russian Marine sent to save him. Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed his concerns on Twitter, noting that Turkey's actions are criminal and that "Turkey has demonstrated that it is protecting ISIS."
On these points Medvedev is correct. Turkey's aggression is an act of war unless it can unequivocally prove that the Russian warplane was in its airspace (which it has not been able to do). The evidence for Turkish support of ISIS is growing by leaps and bounds as time passes by. Through its assistance to ISIS, and by its attempts to thwart other nations fighting ISIS, Turkey is a de facto state sponsor of terrorism. Now keep in mind that this is a state sponsor of terrorism that is a full member of NATO and is accorded the protections therein, notably the Article 5 provision for common defense. A recipe for disaster if there ever was one.
Consquently, if NATO is serious about fighting ISIS, it will need to start by cleaning up its own backyard.
Turkey's role as an Islamist Trojan Horse within the North Atlantic Alliance isn't any surprise when one considers how it is positioned with respect to other NATO members in terms of religious demographics and income.
Almost 99 percent of Turkey's population is Muslim, making it by far the most Islamist state in NATO. Albania (a new member that joined in 2009 – probably another mistake by the West) also has a dominantly Muslim population (>82 percent), while Bulgaria is at more than 13 percent. The next nearest proportion of Muslims is in France at 7.5 percent. To say Turkey is demographically out of place in the Alliance is an understatement.
Turkey is also one of the poorest nations in NATO, having a per capita GDP less than half that of the traditional allies. Albania and Bulgaria, which along with Turkey make up the most Muslim of the NATO members, are the three poorest member states.
One notes that only 11 nations worldwide have higher Muslim proportions of their total population than Turkey: Mayotte, Jordan, Iraq, Tajikistan, Yemen, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Iran, Tunisia, Afghanistan, and Morocco. Not exactly a list of geopolitical role models and internal stability.
The common thread for problem states in this region is high Muslim populations coupled with relatively low incomes. Turkey and Albania have both these indicators – and they are flashing red as a warning to the West.