“For the West, there are two emerging issues regarding relations with Turkey. The first is to keep the millions of refugees in Turkey away from Europe; the second is to protect their economic benefits in Turkey’s market and to expand to wider markets in the Middle East via Turkey,” writes Fehim Işık for Yeni Özgür Politika.
The Erdoğan regime is disjointed, it has nowhere to hold on to, that is for sure… Yet, he continues his rule. The reason for this has internal and external grounds.
When we analyse the internal grounds, we see dark, mafia like powers such as SADAT and the structures like MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) and Ergenekon, who have grouped together among the Turkish military and police forces. The opposition in Turkey must also take their share of the blame because of their incapability of opposing such a cruel ruling regime.
At the top of the list of the external grounds though, comes the EU and US politics based on self interest and benefits.
Let’s look at the outcome of the last EU Summit. The only thing the EU could say in the end was “we continue dialogue despite deep differences of opinion.” These ‘differences of opinion’ are not about human rights or democracy or the Kurdish question as you might perhaps have thought. To speak frankly, what they mean by ‘differences of opinion’ are the threats of Erdoğan behind closed doors. And the most important of these threats are the politics of refugees.
It is true that he no longer stands up in front of cameras and openly expresses his threats anymore, saying things like, “Ey America, Ey Europe” and he does not blame Merkel over Hitler nor he does not aim his punches, below the belt of Macron. For this reigning in of his openly public threats against EU leaders, he wants more money from Europe acknowledging the compromises he sees he has made; he especially demands that Europe remain silent for the hostility politics against the Kurds, the occupation and the genocide; he wants the pressure against the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) to be off the agenda.
He draws back his gangs from Libya as he has come to the point in the eastern Mediterranean that the EU wanted. Then again, to get on the right side of Egypt, he does anything what the West tells him to do. He acts the maggot to come to terms with Sisi. And he does it all under-handedly. All that he cares about is that the masses inside the country do not hear about the compromises he has given to Europe.
Of course! He when takes a step back in Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa from these expansionist policies that he once trumpted with all kinds of heroism, nationalism and racism, what he maintains in the end is the hostility politics against the Kurdish people and the occupation in Rojava and Bashur (South Kurdistan).
And he maintains his heroic aggresive discourse over these as he doesn’t want his compromises to the West to be visible. He wants the West to support him on his occupation and genocidal attacks and even if not, at least to remain silent about them.
EU Summit must have understood these messages of Erdoğan as they have been praising Erdoğan as much as they could. Not only that, they also take steps to raise his hands. Such hypocracy…
For the West, there are two emerging topics regarding relations with Turkey. The first and dominant issue, is to keep the millions of refugees in Turkey away from Europe; the second is to protect their economic benefits in Turkey’s markets and to expand to wider markets in the Middle East via Turkey. These economic interests are so big that the EU who promotes itself as a leader with moral values, is willing to be complicit with Turkey.
The opposition in Turkey, on the other hand, who already support the policies in Libya, East Mediterranean and Egypt as they do not take a serious stand against Erdoğan with regard to his attacks on Kurds and the HDP.
And what does Erdoğan do?
He plays with the election law as he wishes and he makes calculations to guarantee a parliament with 400 members. If the opposition in Turkey, who are completely incapable of opposing Erdoğan continue in this way, there is nothing much left for them to do except to say, “The man has won”.
So, the problem is not Erdoğan, but the hypocrisy and incapability of those inside and outside the country.