Nov 06 2017

Lack of strategy in Turkish foreign policy - Barlas

In his editorial penned for the Turkish pro-Erdoğan newspaper Sabah, titled "A fundamental shortfall of the politics is strategy", columnist Mehmet Barlas lists what currently goes wrong with Turkey's foreign policy:

  • Rapprochement with Iraqi PM İbadi after the relations strained during recapture of Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS): Now that Turkey needs a collective stance against Masoud Barzani, the current president of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) after the independence referendum, the war of words between Erdoğan and İbadi needs to be swallowed.
  • The puzzling relations with Syrian President Bashar Assad: Turkey supports Syria's territorial integrity, but also supports opposition forces against the regime. At the same time, Turkey considers an autonomous Kurdish region in Northern Syria as a threat, which would also require cooperation with Assad.
  • And, the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence: Barlas says, Pence has no legal authority over the issue with the Zarrab case or the extradition of Fethullah Gülen. These two issues remain at the epicentre of Turkish-U.S. visa spat. Barlas expresses concern of PM's visit, without positive steps being taken by the U.S. side on the suspension of visa services since 8 October.

Columnist Mehmet Barlas is a close ally of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his criticism for the lack of strategy in Turkish foreign policy, particularly regarding PM Binali Yıldırım is very significant.


Read Mehmet Barlas' column here: