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What is the source of Erdogan’s arrogance toward the West?

18 6 0
13.10.2019

Commentary. Allied requests that Erdogan ‘act with restraint’ sound more than a little complicit. Turkey is free to ravage Syria and wipe the revolutionary project of Rojava off the face of the earth with impunity.

written by Tommaso Di Francesco

Topic Middle East and North Africa

October 13, 2019

Where is Erdogan’s outright blackmail coming from? It is worth asking this question, given the audacity with which he’s claiming the right to invade northern Syria and use scorched-earth tactics against the Kurds in Rojava.

Last week he was a bit more explicit than usual, speaking to a Turkish domestic audience which generally approves of the offensive, with the exception of the Kurdish HDP. He warned that if the EU were to call it an “invasion,” he would send to Europe the 3.6 million refugees that we essentially hired him to manage. He also attacked his critics, such as Egypt’s al-Sisi, calling him “a murderer of democracy,” and the Saudis, pointedly reminding them of the massacres in Yemen. In short, his message was, “who are you to judge?”

No doubt, he’s right that these critics are themselves a bunch of criminals. He even went further and reproached NATO for not supporting him: according to Article 5, “NATO countries have no right to stay silent when a NATO country is being attacked” by “terrorists.”

In short, he was more provocative than ever. The media headlines in the West, however, were not quite accurate themselves: “Yet Another War,” “Erdogan’s War,” “A Stab in the Back” and similar, a counterpoint to the “offensive” name chosen for the Turkish offensive, “Peace Spring.” One should note that the lexicon we use........

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