CBRN Assessment

Turkey to be 'elephant in the room' at NATO summit

17 May 2017

Key Points

  • Turkey's political direction is causing a major headache for NATO
  • The purging of thousands of Turkish officers is damaging the TSK's connections with the alliance

When Turkey and its 27 NATO allies gather in Brussels for their first summit meeting with US president Donald Trump on 25 May, defence burden-sharing and fighting terrorism will be their official agenda items - and, not coincidentally, the two challenges Trump has repeatedly hammered as priorities for NATO.

However, lurking behind this abbreviated agenda is the ugly challenge no one wants to publicly talk about: Turkey's slide away from democracy and its rapidly deteriorating relations with the West and key allies such as Germany.

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