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Guest Viewpoints

Erdogan’s Fault Line Eruption

February 20, 2023
By Emmanuel E. Velivasakis

Regarding the latest developments in Turkey and Syria after the recent tragic earthquakes and the widespread death, pain, and suffering of the people in the affected region, allow me to express some frank thoughts on the subject matter.

First, let’s face head on the cold truth that the World is fed up with the deception and untrustworthiness of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And unfortunately, his unpopularity is being paid dearly by his own people, now during the time of their dire needs and suffering!

His 10 years of authoritarian rule have practically destroyed Turkey, which, despite it’s questionable Ottoman past, had managed to pull itself together to a semblance of democracy! Until of course its own ‘savior’ came to the scene some 20 years ago, to take it back to its fundamentalist Islamic roots and to visions of recreation of its lost Ottoman Empire!

To divert attention from his economic and societal failures, Erdogan has focused his deviousness on the outside world! One day he threatens Greece that his ‘liberation armies’ may knock on her door in the middle of the night, and daily, his air force and his navy routinely invade Greece’s territorial waters and airspace! Another day he focuses on NATO and vetos the inclusion of prospective new members from the Baltic region. Most importantly, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and yearlong war, Turkey is the only NATO member to have openly sided with Russia – Erdogan is even playing the role of the ‘peacemaker’ while profiting from the war itself! And let’s not forget Turkey’s devious and murderous role in the Syrian conflict, where, again playing the role of the regional peacemaker, he sided with Russia, sabotaging American interests in the region! Finally, his continued brutal occupation of almost 40% of Cyprus against all national and international norms!

Thus I paraphrase the old saying: “If one has friends like Erdogan, one doesn’t need any enemies!”

America and the World have been extorted one too many times by the old sultan Erdogan to feel any comfort, and may I dare to add, even compassion in this time of his greatest need! The most unfortunate part, however, is that the World’s discontent against the old sultan may invariably and unfortunately be also directed against his own people! And we witness exactly that these days, with the unprecedented slow international response for earthquake relief!

To correct this humanitarian shortcoming, perhaps some international agency like the UN should undertake the responsibility to direct the Earthquake Relief efforts, both in Turkey and Syria, to relieve the pain and suffering of the earthquake victims, especially since the subject national governments are proving incapable of the task of reconstruction on a biblical scale!

As for our brothers and sisters in Turkey, besides our sincere condolences for the tragic events, and our individual assistance via international NGO’s such as the Red Cross, etc., I would also like to remind them that elections matter and have consequences, and that if they keep electing irrational and authoritarian leaders, like Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who constantly poke the world in the eye, they should understand our natural hesitancy and tendency for distance.

And one last thing – in the form of a suggestion to Pres. Erdogan: Perhaps, the 40,000 Turkish troops which currently occupy the Northern part of the island of Cyprus, could do a lot more good if they would be redeployed to the earthquake-affected region, in order to rebuild and alleviate the suffering of the victims. And that would be something which would be applauded by the entire international community!


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