Turkey has been a long-standing member of NATO having joined the alliance in 1952. It is the nation with the largest military establishment in NATO and its actions can have severe effects on the alliance. The coup against Erdogan has changed a lot of things and also brought into focus that if Turkey leaves the alliance the effect on NATO would be catastrophic.

Aftermath of the coup

The military coup against Erdogan has literally stirred the cauldron. Erdogan feels that the coup was engineered with support from the CIA and his long-term foe Gulen, now in self-imposed exile in the USA. The aftermath of the coup saw Erdogan apply a no-fly zone on the most important US base in Turkey at Incirlik.

This base is extremely important as it houses the strike force of the USAF with nearly 2000 personnel. It is also used by the Turkish air force. The base also stores nuclear weapons. It is only about 70 miles from the Syrian border. The USAF flies missions from this base against #ISIS. The result of the no-fly zone was that all air activity ceased at the base, though aircraft returning from missions were allowed to land.

Erdogan followed up the enforcement of the no-fly zone by cutting the external power supply to the base. The base had to be run on internal power and exposed the risks of keeping nuclear weapons in a country plagued by uncertainty.

Further repercussions 

The commander of the base General Bekir Erican Van was alleged to be involved in the coup attempt and asked for asylum, which was turned down.

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He was subsequently arrested on orders of Erdogan, who began a massive purge of elements suspected to be part of the coup against him. He was cautioned against this by the US Secretary of State Kerry as well as European powers. He also proposed to re-introduce the death penalty which has brought a warning from the German Chancellor that it would affect Turkey's chances of joining the EU.

The external power supply was restored and operations have commenced from the base but the events have cast a shadow on the Incirlik base. It has brought into focus the fact that the weapons stored at the base can easily fall into Jihadi hands or renegade troops. It can also lead to a situation where Erdogan may himself order the takeover of the base and the nuclear weapons. Erdogan is trying to forge a relationship with Russia and this is cause for worry for the USA. #Foreign Affairs