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What's at stake in Turkey's upcoming elections?
Contrarian posted a topic in The Rest of the WorldThe elections in Turkey are scheduled to take place on 18 June 2023. President Erdoğan signaled that the election might be held early on 14 May 2023, President Tayyip Erdogan faces the biggest test of his 20-year rule in May elections that will decide not only who leads Turkey but how it is governed, where its economy is headed, and what role it may play to ease conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East. ---> The earthquake operation was a disaster for the Turkish authorities in my view. The opposition picked as its presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), and formed an alliance aiming to appeal to voters from the left and right, as well those with Islamist roots. The opposition promises to reverse many of the policies of Erdogan, who has championed religious piety, military-backed diplomacy and low-interest rates. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/whats-stake-turkeys-upcoming-elections-2023-03-07/
And while Ankara does not want to lose its position as a significant geopolitical player in the near future, acting as a kind of bridge between the West and the East In recent years, Ankara has intended to pursue a strong independent policy based on the balancing act between West and East, which Turkey's geographic position traditionally favors. However, Washington's decision to kick Turkey out of the American F-35 fighter jet production program in connection with Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems undermined the spirit of mutual understanding between the two countries. The United States is terribly afraid that someone will have actual evidence that the S-400 can effectively counteract the F-35, which is why they are trying to force Turkey to abandon Russian anti-aircraft systems, which will have a catastrophic effect on the defense of the latter. Turkish separation can take years American political scientists continue to be guided by the logic of the Cold War, while Turkish think in the context of an emerging multipolar world, where Turkey can take a good position. This difference in mindset, plus Washington's continued military support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, makes real dialogue between the US and Turkey impossible. As a result, the United States is ready to move its Incirlik air base to the island of Crete, which will only accelerate the geopolitical separation between Ankara and Washington, giving a free hand to Turkey to pursue an independent foreign policy without regard to "colleagues from across the ocean." While Turkish-American relations have become tense over the past few years and a strategic separation is no longer completely unrealistic, Turkey's foreign policy continues to revolve around the issue of striking a balance between West and East. Although its geographic position on the borders of Asia and Europe seems to largely determine its broader foreign policy orientation, Turkey under Erdogan has also acquired or is at least trying to acquire the status of a major power, thanks to which it can act as a "balancer" between the two major world poles of power. But Turkey's strategic positioning, inspired by the desire to re-establish itself as a 'neo-Ottoman' empire capable of pursuing a truly independent foreign policy and operating as a major power, has most of all led to a rift between Turkey and its NATO allies, especially the US. Erdogan isn't in any hurry to break all ties with Washington, but in vain. The fact that Turkey has established strong political and military ties with Russia shows that the US and Turkey have fundamentally different threat perceptions. Accordingly, while Turkey appears to believe that the current international system is not as Western-oriented and US-dominated as it used to be, and that Turkey should pursue its interests through a more diverse geopolitical balance, Washington, hell-bent on resisting the fall of the United States as the only superpower, considers such a reading of international affairs by Turkey abnormal and unrealistic. For Erdogan and Turkish politicians, this is seen as an adjustment to the new normal in global politics. These differences have also led to certain political tensions, the most important manifestation of which is the prolonged crisis between Turkey and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) over the Syrian crisis and how the US continues to provide military support to the Kurdish militias, especially the YPG. In this context, the Biden administration, which has promised to work to restore US global dominance, is likely to resist Turkey's attempts to act as an independent player within NATO, an organization that remains trapped in a Cold War mindset. Washington does not like Erdogan a priori Now Turkey is demonstrating that it is a significant player in international politics and has nothing in common with Turkey, which was only the executor of the policy and ideas of senior allies. Ankara emphasizes: yes, it may need its old partners, but they need it even more. This is an increase in political subjectivity. On August 30, 2022, Turkey celebrated the 100th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Dumlupinar, which marked a successful effort of the national liberation struggle against the Greeks. But who would have thought then that a whole century would not be enough for countries to find a compromise and make peace after the second Greco-Turkish war, the same one that Hemingway wrote about in The Snows of Kilimanjaro: “Later he had seen the things that he could never think of and later still he had seen much worse.“ Tempers between Ankara and Athens have flared lately. When it became known that a new NATO base would open in Greece, Ankara considered the actions of the Greek authorities a violation of the “principles of alliance” and called for a symmetrical response and the deployment of Russian S-400 air defense systems in Western Anatolia. The situation was also exacerbated by the "unfair", according to the Turkish press, attitude of NATO, which openly supports Athens and bills Ankara for cooperation with Moscow. However, if the Turkish media only admit the possibility of a new war in the Aegean, the Greek ones write with confidence that the war is inevitable. For Turkey, which has the second largest army in NATO, Greece does not pose a serious danger. If at sea the forces of the two countries are almost equal (Turkey is significantly superior to Hellas only in the number of landing ships), then on land and in the air the Turkish army has an advantage of almost 3.5 times. However, Athens is not afraid. The beneficiary in the aggravation of Turkish-Greek relations, of course, is Washington with its long-standing inferiority complex. In conclusion… When the AKP, founded by Erdogan, came to power in the early 2000s, Ankara pursued a foreign policy oriented towards Europe and America. Ankara advocated rapprochement with NATO partners, rapprochement with the EU, etc. defined itself as part of of the collective West. However, then Turkey began to go in the other direction - to turn to the East. Some call the starting point 2014 (when Erdogan moved from the prime minister's chair to the presidential throne, thereby, according to the West, violating the principle of change of power), while others talk about 2016. The year of an unsuccessful coup attempt, when the US did not support Erdogan and refused to extradite Fethullah Gülen (a preacher living in Pennsylvania, whom Ankara named as one of the organizers of the coup) to Turkey. As a result, the Turkish elites became disillusioned with their Western partners, and Ankara changed its vector of foreign policy development and began to pursue a foreign policy independent of the West. After that, Erdogan's behavior and ambitions ceased to please his overseas colleagues. America needs either a completely obedient Turkey, subordinate to American interests, or Turkey as a zone of chaos and part of an arc of instability.
Tayyip Erdogan, a sort of a saviour image
Contrarian posted a topic in The Rest of the WorldIf the Ukrainian - Russian war will end with some sort of agreement or cease-fire, in my opinion, one man will come out of all this as a sort of Messiah: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the meeting between the US and Russian intelligence services was important to prevent an "uncontrolled" escalation in the field, the Turkish presidency announced on Friday, Reuters reports. Lesson for people out there. If you have issues in life, think about Erdogan, this man barely survived an internal coup to come back with an image as a saviour. And not only that, Turkey is pulling strings and benefits from both sides in this conflict. This man is what I call a skilled politician for one side. Now I understand why his people died in the streets in Ankara, Istanbul against the Gullen attempted coup to maintain his power. but this man has issues too, authoritarian issues, but that is for another thread. You don't have to like a man to respect his commitment to his interests.
Turkey Threatens Another Syria Invasion
Contrarian posted a topic in The Rest of the WorldAnother day, another diplomatic crisis for the Biden administration. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin worked the phones with Turkish officials in Ankara, trying to stave off a full-scale incursion by Turkish forces into northern Syria. And separately, James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, was in Ankara to meet with Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s defense minister, in person. Having a Pentagon chief dial up his Turkish counterpart hasn’t exactly stopped the United States’ NATO frenemy from wreaking havoc on Syria before, where around 900 U.S. troops are still based to help the Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) (most of them Kurdish) fight off the remnants of the Islamic State. See 2019, when U.S. troops stood aside at the order of then-U.S. President Donald Trump, allowing a Turkish incursion into Syria. “An invasion into the Kurdish areas of Syria and the direct targeting of elements of the [Syrian Democratic Forces] will do just that,” said Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Trump administration. “Turkey has an absolute right to defend itself, but if it is attacking our partner [by] force, it needs to produce evidence that they were involved. If they cannot, the U.S. should insist they cease those operations.” It’s already clear how disruptive another Turkish attack into Syria could be. Last week, a Turkish airstrike hit less than 1,000 feet from where U.S. forces are based in al-Hasakah. But stopping a Turkish incursion at the same time as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a sagging lira, skyrocketing inflation, and a war on the other side of the Black Sea with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine could be a different matter from three years ago. “There is no doubt that [the Islamic State] will benefit more than anyone else from this Turkish offensive,” SDF commander Gen. Mazloum Abdi said on Monday, as the group prepared to reposition forces away from the Islamic State fight to deal with the possibility of a Turkish onslaught. Erdogan already used a rally of his Justice and Development Party to brag about the strikes into Syria that Turkey has carried out in recent days and a possible ground invasion to follow, making former officials worried that the window for diplomacy may be closing. “I think we’re late to it,” said Jonathan Lord, a senior fellow and director of the Middle East security program at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank. “He has already politically walked himself out onto the branch.” If the Turks do push for an incursion, then it might look a lot like the combination of airstrikes and ground invasion from 2019. The only difference, with strikes already wounding guards at the embattled Islamic State prison camp at al-Hol and knocking out power stations, is that it could be even more devastating, experts said. “The stakes are a little bit higher,” Lord said. “Already, we’ve seen Turkish strikes target in and around al-Hol and killing guards. A breakout from al-Hol would be incredibly problematic. The strikes, by displacing people, by destabilizing the area, create problems on their own.” https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/12/01/turkey-syria-invasion-attack-us-kurds/
Do you really think the syrian Kurdish issue is one of the “key” factors in maintaining Syrian statehood and contributing to the stabilization of the situation in the entire Middle East?! http://www.mo4ch.com/moscow-mediates-talks-between-assad-syrian-kurds-russian-fm-2/