Turkey: Erdoğan’s Hoax Charm Offensive
by Burak Bekdil • January 27, 2022 at 5:00 am
- The Turks’ per capita GDP has been falling for the seventh consecutive year, from $12,500 in 2012 to slightly more than $7,000 this year. The Turkish lira has lost more than half its value against major Western currencies in just the past three months.
- “The problem with the narrative is there is no evidence Ankara wants better ties or is willing to do anything in which Israel benefits… It [Ankara] thus wants ‘reconciliation’ without actually doing anything.”— Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post, December 5 , 2021.
- Erdoğan’s charm offensive to win hearts and minds in Washington, however, is not limited to changing his aggressive course against Israel or unfriendly Gulf states.
- U.S. President Joe Biden has persistently encouraged Turkey to normalize diplomatic relations with Armenia…. What is the hoax here? Erdoğan’s move to pretend that Turkey is now taking steps for normalization is fake. He will start a process that he never intends never to complete — just in case other efforts might have gone unnoticed in Washington.
- The ailing Turkish economy is forcing Erdoğan to reconcile with adversaries, and reconciliation means these adversaries will demand that Erdogan stop supporting Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. That will be the case “in the short-term.” At the first opportunity, however, Erdogan will abandon the reconciliation and resume his support for these terrorist groups.
- Erdoğan’s pragmatist-self has only appeared after 12 or so years, as he prepares to fight for his political survival in the 2023 elections. If he feels Gulf money and some kind of U.S. political support has bolstered the Turkish economy sufficiently for him to win in 2023, he will take off his reconciliatory mask and put his usual Islamist shirt back on.