Hundreds of US soldiers have arrived already, with another 400 German soldiers expected to arrive in the coming weeks, and more troops from across NATO are also planning deployments on the Turkish border with Syria, at the behest of the Turkish government. All told this will mean thousands of troops on the border.
Turkish officials seem really pleased with this, but across the political spectrum, Turkish citizens are extremely opposed to the deployment, fearing NATO will turn Turkey into a “battlefield.”
From the north to the south, and all points in between, protests are being staged. Organizers of all political stripes, from the nationalists and the Communists to Kurdish opposition parties and even the centrist parties. It is rare for these groups to agree on much of anything, but they all seem pretty sure that NATO’s presence is trouble.
No one sees Syria as a serious threat to Turkey, a much larger nation with a much bigger and more modern military. Rather, it is the fear that NATO will quickly muck up the rebellion and turn the war region that is the big concern, particularly after the Libyan War spilled over so dramatically into places like Mali.