Jan 08 2018

Turkey’s Erdoğan finding himself increasingly isolated - Haaretz

A public fight with his erstwhile ally and former president Abdullah Gül has added to the domestic and international isolation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz said.

“Gül, who last spring opposed the constitutional amendments granting Erdoğan supreme powers, attacked the latest (state of emergency) regulation and said it creates an opening to bypass the rule of law and grants civilians powers that are the exclusive right of the police and judicial system,” the newspaper said.

Erdoğan hit back at Gül, even accusing him of allying himself to the main opposition, Haaretz said, and the former president’s move comes at a time when it is increasingly difficult for Erdoğan to trust anyone.

Relations with the United States, for example, are at a low, with the prospect of getting worse very quickly as the result of a New York court verdict this month that could result in

U.S. Treasury fines of “between $5 billion to $10 billion” on Turkish state-run Halkbank for its part on a scheme to evade sanctions on Iran, the newspaper said.

“Such a fine would constitute a lethal blow to the entire Turkish banking system, and senior officials in Turkey hastened to promise that the government would come to the bank’s assistance,” it said.

French President Emmanuel Macron personally delivered a “slap in the face” to Erdoğan as well on his recent trip to France, the newspaper said.

“The current process ‘does not allow for a resolution in the coming years,’ Macron said during a joint news conference with Erdoğan, adding that he thought stringing Turkey along was hypocritical, in reference to the attacks on human rights in Turkey,” it related.

Erdoğan told Macron he was “tired of knocking on the door of the European Union”.

“But Turkey doesn’t have many other doors left to knock on,” Haaretz said.