Turkey Erdogan and Ukraine to strengthen both international and domestic locations
Analysts say that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an opportunity for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to induce international concessions on his country’s goals while preventing domestic unrest.
On the 6th, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a U.S. economic magazine, analyzed the situation in which President Erdogan opposes Sweden and Finland’s application to join NATO. Erdogan is preventing the countries from joining NATO, saying that Sweden and Finland are supporting Kurdish militias, which Turkey considers a terrorist group.
For President Erdogan, the war was an opportunity to save him from the biggest political crisis since the coup attempt to oust him in 2016, the WSJ explained.
Turkey is experiencing a currency crisis under Erdogan, with inflation exceeding 70 percent recently and millions of Turkish citizens facing poverty. Some observers say that President Erdogan may fail to win re-election in elections scheduled for June next year.
In this situation, the war broke out, giving Erdogan an opportunity to play a role as a world leader.
The Turkish-made Bailaktar TB-2 armed drone showed off the strength of Turkey’s defense industry by defeating Russian convoys and warships.
Turkey also blocked Russian warships from entering the Black Sea under international treaties and held two rounds of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.
Turkey also plays an important role in negotiations between Ukraine and Russia for the global export of Ukrainian food through the Black Sea. The agenda also includes escorting Turkish warships when private ships transport food to the Black Sea.
This role has allowed Erdogan to communicate more with the West, including U.S. President Joe Biden, and at the same time become one of the few leaders who regularly communicate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
However, the WSJ pointed out that as Turkey recently opposed Sweden and Finland’s application for NATO membership, the international community’s goodwill toward Erdogan has disappeared.
Some European leaders recognize Erdogan as a dictatorial leader and an incredible ally.
Erdogan has repeatedly raised Turkey’s complaints about the West’s support of Kurdish militias participating in the U.S.-led Islamic State (IS) eradication operation in the wake of Sweden and Finland’s application to join NATO.
Recently, despite U.S. opposition, it has threatened to resume military operations targeting Kurds in Syria.
Experts analyzed that President Erdogan is following the way he has turned the crisis into a political opportunity for decades.
The key to this method is to draw concessions from both friends and enemies, and to use their role in international relations to enhance their domestic image.
They predicted that President Erdogan would eventually allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO instead of gaining political gains.
“This is the typical way of President Erdogan,” said Ilhan Woodsgel, a professor at Angora University. “He has become a ‘master’ to use all opportunities for his popularity at home and abroad.”