World can no longer ignore Erdoğan’s bullying - Gulf News
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan operates with the guiding principles of former ally Ahmet Davutoğlu, who envisaged the “neo-Ottoman” idea of a greater role for Turkey in the Middle East, UAE -based newspaper Gulf News said on Sunday.
While former Prime Minister Davutoğlu sought pro-active foreign policy with “zero problems with the neighbours,” wherein Turkey played an influential role based on cooperation with regional powers, Erdoğan is pursuing the same objectives with a more confrontational bullying strategy, the editorial said.
Erdoğan’s Turkey is engaged in two wars simultaneously in Syria and Libya. The Turkish military suffered its greatest single day loss in decades last month in Syria, when at least 36 Turkish soldiers were killed in the country’s last rebel-held province of Idlib. Meanwhile, Turkish presence in war-torn Libya, where Ankara is propping up the U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), is increasingly under attack.
“In Syria, he supported the mostly Islamist rebels with arms, training camps in Turkey and safe routes between his country and Syria. Istanbul is still today the de-facto headquarters of the Syrian pro-Brotherhood opposition,’’ the article said.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan entered the scene in Libya with his own Syrian militia and heavy weapons to support the embattled GNA, it added.
Turkey’s strongman is using the more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees hosted by his country as a pawn to intimidate Europe into agreeing with him to stop the Syrian army, it said.
Thousands of migrants headed for Turkey's land border with EU member Greece following Erdoğan's announcement earlier this month that it would no longer prevent people from crossing over to EU countries.
EU foreign ministers during a meeting in Croatia on Friday railed against the Turkish leader over the move.
Turkey’s list of adversaries is continually growing under Erdoğan’s rule, the article said, with the Turkish president’s tactics becoming a threat to not only stability and peace in the Middle East, but to the world.