NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before a meeting, in Istanbul, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. NATO's secretary-general says Friday he acknowledges Turkey's legitimate security concerns but has urged Ankara to exercise restraint in its incursion into northeast Syria.(Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

Turkish invasion sparks NATO crisis but eviction is unlikely

October 16, 2019 - 5:25 am

BRUSSELS (AP) — Turkey's invasion of northern Syria — along with the criticism and threats of sanctions brandished by fellow NATO members at Ankara over the offensive — is close to sparking a crisis at the world's biggest military alliance.

But despite the high political-military tensions, Turkey is very unlikely to be ejected from the 29-member alliance, for NATO has seen tense times and survived them before.

From the Suez Canal crisis in 1956 to France leaving its military command structure in 1967 — which forced the alliance to move its headquarters to Brussels in Belgium — to the deep split among allies over the Iraq war in 2003, NATO bonds have been tested. But no country has left the alliance or been forced out.