The Crisis in Turkey

The White House characterized Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s forced resignation by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an “internal affair”.

On the contrary, on its official Twitter page, SYRIZA , the governing party of Greece, characterized the event as “an element of rising authoritarianism” (by Erdogan) and called upon Europe to “do something”.

Regardless of the interpretations which can be applied to the aforementioned positions, it is certain that everyone, from Washington to Athens, is concerned about the increased concentration of power in the hands of an unpredictable leader, (let me remind you that in his interview for “The Atlantic”, President Obama had labeled him a failure), with a disconcerting pattern in his relations with neighboring countries – e.g. the shoot-down of the Russian military airplane – and with the United States.

Furthermore, trends similar to his assertive obtrusion of political opponents – and the media – are evident in his relations with the outside world, including the European Union.

In fact, his success in dealing with the EE is so big that it may possibly lead him to miscalculations and wrong conclusions in the future.

Specifically, Germany’s submission to his demand to prosecute a German comedian who presented him in an offensive manner, as well as his demand for visa free travel to Europe by Turkish citizens in exchange for his cooperation in the migrant crisis, infringe on the fundamental function of democracy and the principles upon which the European Union was established.

So, what conclusion may he have drawn from this victorious experience and what role might it play in his future decisions?

As far as Greece is concerned, Turkey is now applying a lot of pressure in the Aegean, creating – fairly or not – the impression that it is slowly but surely is unraveling a plan to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise.

Erdogan has reinforced its Armed Forces, with local production of technologically advanced weapon systems, and even seems to be on the verge of developing nuclear weapons.

On its side, Greece is unable, due to the economic crisis, to reinforce ist armed forces as much as it should, while it is evident that it has already lost a part of its dominance in the Aegean.

Therefore, under these conditions, the political developments in Turkey, and specifically Erdogan’s strategy, is of particular interest for, aside from the Turkish people, to its neighbors, as well as the European Union and Washington.