The US and EU decisively oppose Erdogan’s plans for Turkey and beyond

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission (on the right), received Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey at Commission headquarters in Brussels. At that time the issue was to assist the country in managing the situation of a very large influx of refugees and preventing irregular migratory flows from Turkey to the EU. Date: 05/10/2015. Location: Brussels - EC/Berlaymont.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission (on the right), received Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, at Commission headquarters in Brussels. At that time the issue was to assist the country in managing the situation of a very large influx of refugees and preventing irregular migratory flows from Turkey to the EU. Date: 05/10/2015. Location: Brussels – EC/Berlaymont.

Last Monday, John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, participated in the EU Foreign ministers’ council in Brussels, where the main topic on the agenda was the attempted coup in Turkey and its aftermath. The obvious reason for this joint Euro-American session of foreign ministers was to clearly show and for everybody to understand that the West stands united vis-à-vis Ankara’s brutal reaction towards the mutineers. Washington is even more concerned about that for many reasons. Let’s see the details.

Firstly, the US needs Turkey’s cooperation in the fight against the ISIS murderers in Syria. Secondly, because of the fact that the political rival of the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the self exiled Muslim imam Fethullah Gulen who is based in the US, is accused by the Turkish government of being the mastermind of last Friday’s coup. Of course, Gulen flatly denies any connection with the insurgency. Ankara said that within this week they will ask the US to extradite him.

A fight over Gulen

Washington replied though that they are prepared to hand Gulen over to Turkey but only on hard evidence linking him to the coup and not on vague accusations. The Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim rebuffed this US response. He added that “At this stage there could even be a questioning of our friendship.” In any case, the Americans are frustrated with Turkey’s over reaction to the attempted coup and have clarified that their relations with Ankara will now depend on the way Erdogan hunts down Gulen and the extent of the cleansing up process. Everybody knows that Gulen in many ways is under the spell of Washington and the Americans consider him to be a valuable asset for their foreign affairs strategy.

Gulen has worked together with Erdogan in the past in forming together the AK party and winning Erdogan’s first electoral fights during the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, Gulen distanced himself from Erdogan, after the latter introduced the Muslim religious element in his political ideology and started dismantling the institutions of the civilian state and longing to reform the constitution, in order to prolong his autocratic grasp on Turkey.

Erdogan’s opportunity

Ankara – Washington relations are in dire straits after Erdogan managed to brutally suppress the coup and arrest 20,000 people allegedly implied in the coup. He is now the absolute ruler of his country and almost directly accuses the US, at least for covering to the masterminds of the coup attempt. The truth is that Erdogan waited for a long time for the opportunity that this failed coup is offering him, in order to purge the army, the state machine, the judiciary and the police from people accused of being aligned with Gulen.

In many respects the political, judiciary, armed forces, administrative and even financial and business circles affiliated to Erdogan now see a golden opportunity to re-tailor the entire country according to their will. Erdogan himself proclaimed this cleansing by saying the mutineers actually deserve to be killed and ordered some tens of thousands of violent arrests and dismissals reaching up to the Constitutional Court, as if the judges had organized the military insurgency. He went so far as to say that there is no reason to keep feeding some of them in prisons, so it’s better to slay them.

The brutality of the oppression

As expected, the unbelievable extent and brutality of the purge has provoked strong reaction in the West. The European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for Turkey’s EU accession progress stated that the government had prepared the lists of the purges before the attempted coup. In this way, Brussels is indirectly accusing Erdogan that in a way he either engineered the coup himself or at least he let it develop and brake out. The obvious reason for this is that he now has the opportunity to kill, imprison or simply dismiss all and every civil servant, military, police and judiciary functionary who is not a strong supporter of him and his AK party.

In view of that, the West has voiced strong reserves. For the US and Europe what is at stake today is that Erdogan is about to create a new Turkey, under a semi totalitarian regime under him and his AK party. The US have expressed concern even about Turkey’s position in NATO. Kerry said that Ankara has the right to prosecute those involved in the coup, but as a NATO ally, the country has the obligation to safeguard democracy and human rights. It’s obvious by now that Erdogan has gone too far in suppressing the insurgency.

Europe opens fire

Along the same lines, Federica Mogherini, the EU Chief for Foreign Policy asked Ankara not to “damage the constitutional order”, that Erdogan is ostentatiously protecting from the insurgents. Mongherini also clarified that if Turkey re-introduces the death penalty in order to exterminate the heads of the rebellion, the country can no longer hope of becoming an EU member. The Brussels authorities have already announced that the negotiations for a visa free travel regime for the Turkish citizens visiting the EU have already been revoked.

Turkey has responded in its usual unrestrained way to the Western reactions, by very quickly bringing the exchange to its limits. The Foreign ministry in Ankara declared that the criticism against the Turkish government’s response to the insurgents, is tantamount to supporting the coup. Of course, the West didn’t react in the same manner. The truth is, however, that both the US and the EU would not back from their threats regarding Turkey’s position vis-à-vis the EU and NATO.

It’s pretty clear though, that the West will not let Erdogan become another Middle Eastern autocrat. Such a prospect would have a strong impact on the greater Middle Eastern region. In particular, Erdogan’s plans for Turkey would affect the US schemes to create another semi-autonomous Kurdish state in Northern Syria. The US supported by Europe will just make sure now that the Turkish President’s grip on Turkey and his plans for the greater region will be effectively contained.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How women in developing countries can harness e-commerce

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

UN chief condemns terror attack in Kismayo, Somalia

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

Having a baby during COVID-19 gave me new respect for the job ‘mom’

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

UN agency helps stranded Ethiopians return home, ending ‘harrowing migration ordeal’

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get ahead

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs quiz top officials on authorisation and contracts

Gender equality in STEM is possible. These countries prove it

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

UN condemns deadly attack one of its vehicles

MEPs approve EU’s spending in 2017

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

Modernising EU justice systems: New package to speed up digitalisation of justice systems and boost training of justice professionals

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Spring 2020 Economic Forecast: A deep and uneven recession, an uncertain recovery

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

Yemen: 11 more ‘terrible, senseless’ civilian deaths reported, following attack in Sana’a – top UN official

Cyber-Risk Assessments: the vaccine for companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit to differ when issued from 10 Downing St.

Some truths about the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization

Do not jeopardise future-oriented EU programmes, say EP’s budget negotiators

Asylum: MEPs call for more solidarity among EU member states

Business should be joyful – just ask the sports world

Kids who live in the countryside have better motor skills, a study in Finland has found

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Business could learn plenty about cybersecurity from the secret state

A Sting Exclusive: “Stronger Cybersecurity for a safer EU against cybercrime and cyber threats”, by MEP Dalli

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

These are the countries that have made their climate commitments law

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

What Keynes can teach us about government debt today

COVID-19 and its empathic social lessons

MEPs back first EU management plan for fish stocks in the Western Mediterranean

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

Green economy ‘not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced’ says UN chief as COP25 gets underway

Vaccination: understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Commission approves emergency measures to protect eastern Baltic cod

Coronavirus: EU funding for the transport of medical goods, medical teams and patients

Importance of teaching ethics in Brazilian Medical Schools

New EU telecom rules: latest actions in time for transposition deadline

Why the fight against nature loss should be a business priority

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

Palliative care effectiveness at Universal Health Care: an eminent need

Women who crushed the gender barrier in medicine

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

ITU Telecom World 2017 on 25-28 September in Busan, Republic of Korea

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s