Turkey’s anti-Western stance ‘a self-fulfilling prophecy’ - VoA

Turkey’s anti-Western rhetoric and aggressive foreign policy is pushing its NATO allies to unite against the country, Voice of America said on Thursday.     

Differences over issues including an arms embargo on Libya, access to hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, and the role of Kurdish-led forces in Syria have caused tension with Turkey’s fellow NATO members.

“The totality of Turkey’s policies and actions have now reached a point of dangerous escalation,” analysts Heather Conley and Rachel Ellehuus of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington told VoA.

Western officials have also grown increasingly frustrated with the anti-western rhetoric of Turkish government figures, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the U.S. broadcaster said.

“In fuelling the current disputes in the eastern Mediterranean, the (Turkish) leadership is using a narrative revolving around themes such as conquest - referring to the 1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, today’s Istanbul - battles and wars, a huge (and undefined) foreign conspiracy, and a return to glory,” VoA cited analyst Marc Pierini from the research group Carnegie Europe as saying.

In reality, the U.S. and European Union have proven reluctant to work together against Turkey, holding back on sanctions over both the eastern Mediterranean dispute and Ankara’s decision to buy the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system, VoA said.

But Erdogan’s claims of foreign machinations against Turkey could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, VoA said: “If Western nations, and Turkey’s near neighbours, start coordinating containment strategies, it will be as a consequence of Erdogan’s aggressive aim to expand, through assertive diplomacy and military means.”