What is Erdogan doing? And what about the reaction of the West?

Turkish police detained the editor and senior staff of the Cumhuriyet newspaper and President Erdogan is pursuing also a combative foreign policy. Is Erdogan pushing further the consolidation of his power and what kind of reaction, if any, do you expect from Western allies? Read few comments.

Esra Özyürek, Associate Professor and Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies, European Institute, London School of Economics

Erdogan is waging multiple wars at once outside and inside the country. Loosing another country in the Middle East to brutal authoritarianism will be a major blow to the safety and stability of the European Union. If things keep accelerating at this speed soon there might be waves of refugees from Turkey to Europe. So far EU has been ineffective in putting political pressure.

Toni Alaranta, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

I think it was obvious from the beginning that Erdogan would use the state of emergency legislation to suppres not only Gülenists but also secular and liberal opposition, the failed coup atttemp only accelerated a process in that sense, although some initial words of concensus seeking was also deliverd, mainly to produce stability after coup attempt that seemingly made Erdogan very nervous.

The foreign policy nightmare seems to continue – after arming jihadi proxy armies in Syria for 5 years, now Turkey plays complicating role in Iraq as well, and the AKP supporting circles are widely disseminating Ottoman maps indicating Turkish presence in Mosul.

I think the reaction from the West is the usual ‘we are deeply concerned’, the USA is mainly concentrating to even somehow adjusting its cooperation with the Syrian Kurds and Turkey at the same time, also having very few options in Syria. The EU says the usual stuff, but is mainly concerned about the refugee deal.

Dimitris Tsarouhas, Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Bilkent University

When it comes to the West, rhetorical condemnation is certain but the EU in particular will be a bit mute: the migration deal with Turkey has to hold – and it appears to be holding for now. Further, it is hard to see how EU-Turkey relations can deteriorate further from here, save for a complete suspension of talks.

 

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