The Bellicose Loneliness of Erdogan
The rapid growth of tensions in northern Syria has brought mourning and grief to Turkey: according to Ankara’s official estimates 33 Turkish servicemen were victims of airstrike, while social media reports show more than 65 persons. This blow has brought a storm about Turkish citizens’ ears and reflected the expected result of Turkish leader’s incoherent policy. Erdogan has been consistently antagonized by the international community, losing allies and making new enemies.
The Turkish president apparently has a messiah complex and interferes in internal affairs of neighboring states without any scruple, reminding them of the worst times of Ottoman domination. Erdogan’s inflated hopes on rekindling the former strength of the Ottoman state, determine Turkey’s foreign policy and force Ankara to act across its national interests and common sense. First of all, Erdogan got on the wrong side of coreligionists – the Arabs. With the beginning of the Arab Spring the Turkish leader started to overthrow the governments in the Arab countries having a desire to appoint proxy Islamist regimes. The Egyptians became the main victims of of this betrayal. Erdogan supported and coordinated the activity of radical Islamist opposition, which overthrew the the president Hosni Mubarak and has placed in power a fanatic-Islamist – Mohammed Morsi. Only true patriots in the ranks of Egyptian Armed Forces had retrieved the country from Dark Ages, removing from the power the Turkish puppet and giving the power to Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Another of Erdogan’s tricks which called a negative reaction of Arab leaders was his interference in the Libyan conflict and support of “Muslim-Brotherhood” who seized the power in Tripoli. In this context the “Arab Quad” which includes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Arab Republic of Egypt and Bahrain, began to pile on the pressure on Turkey resisting its aggressive foreign policy. The common response of Muslim countries on Turkey’s selfish policy was the catastrophic decline of Ankara’s influence in Organization of Islamic Cooperation and full-scale crash of Erdogan’s plan to become a leader of Islamic world.
Erdogan’s actions in Libya dissatisfied not only the Arabs but Europe. Turkey’s support of Sarraj, continues to instigate new waves of refugee flow to Europe countries. Meanwhile the GNA’s maritime boundary demarcation agreement with Ankara, which was signed by Erdogan and his Tripoli’s proxy, has also riled the heads of Europe’s capitals. Turkish-Libyan deal became a serious problem for exploitation of gas fields in Cyprus seaside and building of Israeli EastMed pipeline. Thus, the support of Islamists in Gaza Strip and rude disregard to economic interests of Jewish state had broken the long-term alliance between Tel Aviv and Ankara. The Israeli intelligence officials enlisted Turkey to the list of counties who provide an aggressive policy. It guarantees the growth of attention to Turkey by Israeli special agencies.
Turkey has made a strong name of untrustworthy partner in European Union. It also made impossible the dream of Turkish citizens’ to join EU. The European countries will remember that rude Turkish blackmail with the flow of refugees. All the promises of friendship and solidarity will become the symbol of Turkish hypocrisy and devilry.
Finally, the USA has experienced Erdogan’s fickleness. The Turkish leader managed to quarrel with his main NATO ally with accusing the White House of the coup and then with the attack of US-backed Syrian Kurds and the purchase of Russia’s S-400. The latest move forced the USA to impose sanctions on Ankara and exclude Turkey from the program of production of American military jets. Washington’s response has inflicted the sensible strike at Turkish economy with falling of Turkish lira and reduction of level of life if Turkish citizens. Erdogan’s policy resulted in Washington’s refusal to support the Turkish offensive in Syria despite their verbal obligations.
Having quarreled with the West and neighboring Arabs, Erdogan could strike up a friendship with neither Iran nor with Russians. Despite the air defense deal and common economic interests in building the pipelines, Ankara and Moscow were close to war when Turkey shot down Russian aircraft in Syria in 2015. The murder of Russian ambassador in Turkish capital became a new strike at relations between the two countries. Today, despite a number of bilateral meetings and Kremlin’s readiness to accommodate the interests of Ankara, it seems that Erdogan is losing the confidence of his Northern neighbor and is close to the scuttling the “Eurasian project” which could help him to strengthen relation with post-Soviet countries of Central Asia and China.
The continuation of unpredictable course will lead Erdogan to international isolation, and Turkish people to new economic challenges and national humiliation. Regretfully, the Turkish leader doesn’t show his wisdom and highly likely doesn’t realize that his incoherent policy bewildered his country.