Jun 09 2018

Is the Turkish strongman’s final destination coming up on June 24?

Turkey’s full-blown currency crisis and the normally fractured opposition parties finally coordinate their hostility to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are endangering the sixteen-year tenure of Turkey’s strongman, says Adam Turner in an article he penned for national discourse website.

Turkey heads to the polls on June 24 for parliamentary and presidential elections where Erdoğan is looking to retain his powers with the new executive presidential system that was narrowly approved in last year’s referendum. Critics agree that this is the first election in which Erdoğan is facing strong opposition opponents.

It is in the United States national interest to see the Turkish opposition succeed, notes Turner, explaining that  over the past two decades, Erdogan has transformed Turkey from a goodl ally of the U.S. and the West to a vocal opponent.

Furthermore, ‘’Turkey has also become an increasingly unreliable NATO ally. For example, Turkey has threatened its fellow NATO allies in Europe with Middle East migrants.  It continues to specifically foment trouble with fellow NATO member Greece.  In 2017 alone, there was a record 3,317 airspace and 1,998 territorial water violations by Turkey in the Aegean Sea, where Turkey claims additional islands, and Erdogan has publicly called for a revision of the treaty that defines the borders of the modern Turkish state,’’ the article points out.

Withe regard to the U.S. air base at Incirlik in Southern Turkey, the country has been playing games, Turner says; ‘’In 2016, Turkey preemptively offered Russia the go-ahead to use Incirlik for its operations in Syria, even though Russia had no need for it.’’

Pointing to Turkey’s cross-border operation into Afrin, which began on January 20 and is likely to expand, the article notes that Afrin was targeted by Erdoğan because it was controlled by the only real U.S. allies in Syria, the Syrian Kurds.

‘’Erdogan is known to be suffering from a harsh case of Kurdophobia, largely because of his fear of the expanding Turkish Kurdish minority. This unfortunately successful Turkish invasion has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Kurdish fighters and civilans, the forced resettlement of over a hundred thousand people, the expansion of the Turkish controlled zone in Syria, which is governed by that nation and its jihadist allies under sharia law, and a delay in the fight against ISIS,’’ Turner notes.

Recalling that Erdoğan once famously said that “democracy is like a train; you get off once you have reached your destination,” the articles asserts that in the Turkish strongman’s final destination could be coming up on June 24th.