This volume is the product of a collaboration between the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), a student-run initiative supported by the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, United States. Four CIB analysts tackle some of the most pressing and timely questions confronting intelligence observers today. Topics in this volume include the possibility of a war with North Korea, and the rise of far-right militancy in the United States. The volume also includes an assessment of the impact of the Islamic State in the relations between Russia and the United States, and a discussion of Turkish politics and its effect on NATO's cohesion.
parliament (BBC 2017). The referendum also passed 18 new amendments that were added to the Turkish constitution. These amendments primarily deal with the powers of the executive and legislative branches in the Turkish government. For example, one amendment that was added through the referendum was the abolition of the post of prime minister. Now President Erdogan can appoint the cabinet himself and oversees a number of vice presidents that are under his command. Additionally, the Turkish parliament no longer oversees the ministers, as its power to initiate a motion of no confidence against them has been be removed (Shaheen 2017). On October 9, 2017, the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey, suspended all nonimmigrant visa services, reportedly in order to reassess Turkey’s commitment to the security of the embassy’s staff (BBC 2017). The US government decided to minimize the number of visitors to its embassy and consulates in Turkey, until the personnel working there stopped facing what the embassy said were security threats. Only individuals who were permanently moving to the US were able to apply for visas. In response, Turkey suspended all visa services for US citizens at their diplomatic and consular missions (BBC 2017). President Erdogan and President Trump had met in September, shortly before the visa suspension occurred. During that meeting, President Trump stated that the relationship between the two nations was better than it had ever been (The White House 2017). However, as will be shown here, this statement appears to contradict the facts, as the latter do not support it. On November 7 2017, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim met at the White House with US Vice President Mike Pence, to discuss the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Washington and Ankara. Following the closed-door meeting, “Prime Minister Yildirim stated that [it] was a positive step for both nations” (The White House 2017). The Turkish official also took a large legal team with him on his visit, in what appeared to be an unofficial attempt to strengthen the case to extradite Gülen to Turkey —something that did not ultimately materialize. Interestingly, President Trump was on a tour of Asia when Prime Minister Yildirim came to the US to meet with Vice President Pence to discuss diplomatic disagreements between Washington and Ankara. Another recent event that negatively affected Turkey’s relations with NATO was a dispute over a NATO military exercise in Norway in November of 2017. During this routine exercise, President Erdogan was reportedly depicted as NATO’s enemy during a simulation (Fraser 2017). NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg immediately issued an apology for the offense, stating that the incident was the result of an external contractor that was hired for the exercise, and that it did not reflect the views of NATO. Stoltenberg added that “Turkey is a valued NATO ally, which makes important contributions to allied security” (The Guardian 2017). A report by Politico said that the contractor involved was a 48
Norwegian of Turkish origin, who was predictably accused by Turkey of being a supporter of Gülen. On December 1 2017, Turkey’s chief prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for former Central Intelligence Agency officer Graham Fuller, former vice-chairman of the US National Intelligence Council. The warrant alleges that Mr. Fuller has links to Gülen and the failed 2016 coup attempt. But Fuller and the United States government have dismissed these allegations (Stockholm Center for Freedom 2017). On December 1, 2017, former national security advisor Michael Flynn turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which charged him with lying about having had unauthorized discussions with Russian officials in December of 2016. In addition to his links with Russian officials, Flynn was also accused of having been offered $15 million to help Turkish officials forcibly remove Gülen from the US and extradite him to Turkey (BBC 2017). The Turkish government did not discuss these allegations. If the accusations about Flynn are accurate, they show that extraditing Gülen to Turkey remains one of Ankara’s major objectives, and that the Erdogan administration has taken extreme measures —including attempts to bribe US officials— in attempts to do so. Conclusion Rising tensions between the US and Turkey are extremely significant within the context of NATO. In the past few months, major events have occurred between the two countries, which have affected American and Turkish embassies and consulates, NATO training exercises, as well as regular travel between Turkey and the US. They have prompted numerous statements issued by senior US, Turkish and NATO officials, as well as lengthy reports from multiple news sources. Visa services between the US and Turkey have yet to be normalized, though they have been modified on several occasions. It is likely, therefore, that visa services will resume in the near future. It is less probably, but not impossible, that the visa services issue will become an ongoing dispute and will not be completely restored until the US and Turkey come to an agreement on how to resolve the case of Gülen. President Trump’s administration has been engaged in negotiations with Turkish government officials on multiple issues that affect diplomatic relations between the two nations, including the failed 2016 coup attempt and the more recent visa service suspension. The Trump administration’s current position is that the US government has been making multiple attempts to normalize relations between the two nations. President Trump and Vice President Pence, along with other US officials, have personally met with Turkish officials for that reason. If the current trend continues, bilateral relations are likely to grow stronger in the future. However, the major diplomatic issue between the US and Turkey continues to be the extradition of Gülen. The US has stated on multiple occasions that it has not 49