Turkey’s Erdogan provokes the US and the EU by serving jihadists and trading on refugees

Donald Tusk President of the European Council (on the left), meets Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, in Ankara. Presidential Palace. (European Council - Council of the European Union, Audiovisual Service. Snapshot from a video).

Donald Tusk President of the European Council (on the left), meets Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, in Ankara. Presidential Palace. (European Council – Council of the European Union, Audiovisual Service. Snapshot from a video).

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, after having declared war against the political, judiciary and civic structures of his own country, employs the same belligerent tactics in the domain of foreign policy. He now threatens to send to Europe 3 million refugees and immigrants who are stationed in Turkey. True, more than three million people, mostly Syrians, are currently installed in refugee camps or have found other type of shelter on Turkish soil, in the provinces near the borders of Syria.

The Turkish government has been issuing work permits for the Syrian refugees in the provinces of Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Sanliurfa, Mersin, Adana, Kahramanmaras, Osmaniye and elsewhere. Understandably, this measure had little effect towards offering anything close to a regular living for the millions of expatriate Syrians. The Erdogan government offered this break with a twofold target: on the one hand to suppress wages in these vast areas and, secondly, in order to be seen as benevolent to those people who have lost everything.
Opposing US goals

Coming back to Erdogan’s course of action on foreign affairs, he didn’t only attack Europe. He now aims at nothing less than neutralizing the US strategy in both Syria and Iraq. In reality, he undermines the US efforts in Syria and Iraq to uproot ISIS from Mosul and Raqqa. To this effect, last week Turkey openly supported the jihadists in their efforts to maintain their positions in Jarabulus in Syria.

This town is situated just some hundred meters away from Turkey’s border and has served for years as a gate providing supplies and forwarding foreign fighters to ISIS. Since the beginning of the Syrian war, Turkey had been secretly facilitating, if not organizing, this arrangement. Now, however, Erdogan made it plain by declaring the Jarabulus area a ‘safe zone’ under the protection of Ankara’s armed forces. In Jarabulus ISIS has been publicly beheading people.

Reprimanding the Europeans

Coming back to Europe, last week the European Parliament voted with a large majority that Brussels should suspend EU accession talks with Ankara. The Parliament says that “The European Commission and member states should temporarily freeze EU accession talks with Turkey, but not abandon them completely”. According to a Press release issued after the plenary of the Parliament, “During the debate on Tuesday MEPs referred to the disproportionate repressesive measures that followed the failed coup on 15 July, but stressed that the door should remain open for further dialogue, unless Turkey reintroduced capital punishment”.

The resolution adopted is not binding, but as Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said “it will produce effects in the capitals of European Union states that decide on membership”. In this way, the Parliament is also blocking Erdogan’s plan to reintroduce the death penalty, because in such a case the EU is to definitively freeze Turkey’s accession prospects. Erdogan’s reaction was violent. He declared that if the freeze continues Turkey will open its borders for the millions of migrants to cross into Europe. He added that, “Neither me nor my people will be affected by these dry threats. It wouldn’t matter if all of you (European politicians) approved the resolution.”

Cleansing all critical voices

Until last June hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants left Turkey, crossed the Aegean Sea straights and flooded the Greek islands. The flow was arrested only after Brussels promised to pay Ankara €3 billion, speed up accession talks and drop visa requirements for Turks traveling to Europe. However, after the last July coup, Erdogan’s regime found the opportunity to cleanse the country from every critical voice and establish an autocratic rule, with all powers stemming directly from the President.

Erdogan has imprisoned, molested and dismissed tens of thousands of civil servants, judges and armed forces officers. Three quarters of all generals have been dismissed. The government has also closed down, requisitioned or directly controlled all important media and has imprisoned tens of journalists. In the latest development, President Erdogan dismissed more than one thousand academics and ruled that from now on he alone has the power to appoint all the University rectors and deans.

As a result, the academic community will not anymore be able to elect its leaders. Understandably, under such conditions Brussels, Berlin and Paris couldn’t continue communicating with Ankara. In short, Erdogan has totally cut off Turkey from Europe. It’s quite difficult to figure out how this chasm can be bridged in the visible future.

Can Trump change that?

The fact that Erdogan was probably the second or third foreign leader President elect Donald Trump communicated with after 8 November, cannot change the gloom reality that the US -Turkey relations are rather in a worse state than the EU-Turkish affairs. As mentioned above, Ankara is de facto confronting and threatening to neutralize the US main strategic steps and targets in the Middle East, primarily meant to uproot the ISIS ‘Caliphate’ from Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

Of course, Washington being under the spell of the power transition from the Obama to Trump administration and without clear political directions, it’s impossible to decisively deal with Turkey right away. However, at the field level there are already indications that the US is reacting. It’s unthinkable for Washington to let Ankara create irreversible conditions on the ground.

Erdogan’s unsafe play

If Erdogan’s new plan for this ‘safe zone’ under the Turkish army watch holds well for some weeks, ISIS may be substantially strengthened, most likely also by Turkey itself. For Erdogan’s religious and political principles, the cooperation with ISIS is not out of question. In reality, there are strong indications for a long time partnership. The prestigious newspaper Cumhuriyet is persecuted by Erdogan’s regime for having exposed the ties between Turkey’s secret services and ISIS. Not to say anything about the Russian accusations, that the wider Erdogan family’s business units have been buying crude oil from ISIS, thus making huge profits and at the same time financing the murderers. It’s out of question then, that Trump can tolerate Erdogan’s aggression and threats against the strategic US interests in the wider region of Middle East.

In conclusion, it’s very difficult for Erdogan and Turkey to emerge unhurt from the new and dangerous disputes the Sultan started with the EU and the US.

 

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

New UN rights report paints bleak picture in eastern DR Congo

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

6.1 billion EUR for sustainable fisheries and safeguarding fishing communities

Commission opens first European Innovation Council calls worth €1 billion

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

The EU heads of State and Government about the result of the European Elections 2019

As monsoon rains pound Rohingya refugee camps, UN food relief agency steps up aid

Companies need help to overcome rising

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

EU investment budget for 2020: A boost for the climate

Darfur: Inter-communal tensions still high despite improved security, Mission head tells Security Council

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

Work and reforms of the UN ‘at risk’, Guterres warns Member States, amidst ‘record-level’ cash crisis

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Raytheon by UTC, subject to conditions

This is how AI can help you make sense of the world

Calculators didn’t replace mathematicians, and AI won’t replace humans

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

It’s getting harder to move data abroad. Here’s why it matters and what we can do

To build back better, we must reinvent capitalism. Here’s how

Iraq: UN human rights report voices concern over conduct of ISIL fighter trials

15 years of risk: from economic collapse to planetary devastation

EU should set goal to end homelessness by 2030

These countries are the most peaceful – in 3 charts

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

What are antibody tests and can they get the world back to work?

What’s everyone talking about at Davos 2020?

Inaction over climate emergency ‘not an option’ says UN Assembly chief

Why nature is the most important stakeholder of the coming decade

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

Charges against Baha’i in Yemen must be dropped: UN experts urge release of detainees

Reusable packaging: 6 benefits beyond sustainability

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Why skills are keeping CEOs awake at night

These are America’s most dangerous jobs

EU to give more power to national antitrust authorities in a bid to secure regulatory fines

Does May have enough time in Parliament to table a soft Brexit deal?

Japan’s population is shrinking by a quarter of a million people every year

The beginning of a revolution in healthcare

FROM THE FIELD: Keeping Morocco’s indigenous culture and conservation in balance

‘World has failed’ victims of genocide too often: Guterres

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

This is how a smart factory actually works

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

‘Severe’ new US asylum restrictions will put vulnerable families at risk, UN refugee agency says

Thousands returning to Nigeria’s restive Borno state ‘at risk’; UN ‘gravely concerned’

‘Stay together and step up’ action to meet Global Goals, ECOSOC President tells development forum

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the Common Provisions Regulation for shared management funds

European Business Summit 2014 Launch Event: “Energising Industrial Growth”

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

The revenge of the fallen

How communities are dealing with economy, society and education in COVID-19 crisis     

More Stings?

Comments

  1. The problem of the immigrants can not be laid at Turkey’s door, it is NOT their responsibility to control the borders of the E U
    The fact that Merkel threw open the doors of Europe and invited them in is her fault, not the fault of Turkey.
    The fact that the European nations spend so much of their time preaching to others and not controlling the entrances yo Europe is the fault of the EU, not the fault of Turkey.
    If the EU had a responsible border policy, only those entitled would be allowed to enter. That has not happened and one can only assume that the EU parliament is not interested in protecting the EU or its citizens.

    • Totally agree with your comments here. Also, let’s not forget US also supporting terrorists on the northern Syria as well. Turkey doesn’t have to agree with that too. Turkish president may not be the best one but it is clear that the article is written one sided period….

  2. john astrapos says:

    The EU parliament is not interested in protecting the EU or its citizens but wants to destroy them , the EU parliament is a house of kanibals !

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