Clara Son/ Orange County School of the Arts 9th Grade
When you think of the word “turkey”, you might envision the familiar delicious, golden roasted bird served with mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner. However, if you bring up turkey around President Trump-- the country, Turkey-- he’d probably grow anxious and leave the room. Currently, Turkey is cooking in hot water, and not because they’re preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, they’re torn between siding with America and Russia, two global powerhouses. They’re on the verge of getting smacked with US sanctions and are wrapped in a war with the Kurds, going as far as invading and controlling Syria-- the home of these Kurds. Clearly, Turkey lies in an oven of international heat. So, let’s put on our oven mitts and get into the gritty details of this conflict.
First, Turkey is messily involved in trying to invade Syria. Essentially, the Kurds are a stateless ethnic group who inhabit Syria. They are peaceful people who’ve helped the US battle ISIS. Sadly, the far right Turkish government hates the leftist Kurds and have turned to wrongfully murdering and raping them, committing mass genocide. To make matters worse, Trump is stupidly backstabbing and weakening the Kurds by pulling out the US troops that previously defended the Kurds. Without US support, Turkey is currently invading the Kurds’ home, Syria, and as a result, is facing huge international backlash.
Evidently, Turkey is quickly becoming more hostile and tyrannical, morphing into poisoned Turkey.
Next, Russia is constantly whispering into Turkey’s ear-- trying to befriend them and have them spill valuable American secrets. This keeps the US on the edge since they have historically shared classified military information with Turkey, who might just spill everything to Russia. Russia has even deployed the deadly S-400 missile system in Turkey as a symbol of their grip on Turkey, and the US struck back with sanctions. Specifically, Trump hiked steel tariffs and canceled a $100 billion dollar trade deal with Turkey! It’s clear that Turkey is torn between the two countries and must eventually pick a side.
Finally, the Turkish president Erdogan wants Turkey to gain nuclear power. He’s determined to obtain these nuclear weapons, but there are US and NATO restrictions against Turkey doing this. If Erdogan goes on to secretly build nuclear weapons, he would be violating a multitude of treaties and restrictions, including the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Erdogan is likely to do this, as Turkish officials have been building up on nuclear expertise and are deploying powerful missile systems in other countries. Essentially, Turkey is becoming powerful-- but in a hostile, illegal, and undiplomatic manner.
Ultimately, we can only hope that Turkey gets off their hot seat at the global Thanksgiving dinner table, and takes steps to end Kurdish genocide and alliance uncertainty.
<Clara Son/ Orange County School of the Arts 9th Grade