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09 January, 2017

Erdogan's erratic tactics bring chaos in Turkey

by system failure

Turkey pays increasingly heavy price for Erdogan's erratic geopolitical strategy. The latest bloody attacks in Istanbul and Izmir demonstrate the depth of open fronts created because of Erdogan's successive bad moves.

It all had started when the Turkish president decided to join the mission of the US and its other allies in the Middle East to topple Bashar al-Assad. From the beginning, Erdogan's main plan was to use the ISIS terrorists and other groups for his own proxy war against Kurds. Erdogan had clearly his own agenda and this was something that annoyed the US.

Things got more complicated for Erdogan when Russia decided to intervene in Syria, in order to help the Syrian government to defeat terrorists. The incident with the downed Russian jet by the Turkish forces was another clumsy move by Erdogan, probably hoping that the Russians would proceed in a military respond, in order to force NATO to take action against them.

Putin didn't fall in Erdogan's trap. Instead, Turkey paid a heavy price due to the Russian retaliation in economic level.

At the same time, Erdogan was creating an explosive environment inside Turkey through increased suppression against the Kurdish population, against the political opposition, and generally, against anyone who would dare to question his way of governing. After the coup attempt in 2016 against him, Erdogan's authoritarian governance reached its limits by putting in prison thousands of any opposition. The US-Turkey relations declined further as he was accusing openly the US for providing protection to Fethullah Gulen, the man accused by Erdogan for plotting the coup.

As he saw that he was about to lose the game in North Syria with the defeat of ISIS from the Syrian army and its allies, he decided to change camp and join the battle against ISIS remnants. Apparently, he wanted to be present in the final negotiations on Syria, in order to prevent a possible autonomous Kurdish entity in North Syria-Iraq. Despite the latest attempt for an agreement with Russia-Iran, without the US presence, it is not certain at all that Erdogan will gain something from this.

As a consequence, ISIS responds with terror attacks inside Istanbul, while the Kurds attack in targets at South-East Turkey. Erdogan's anxiety to grab as much as he can, led him to serious strategic mistakes, which may lead Turkey to serious instability.


  1. I think that the tie order and importance order of various factors is a bit different than described. Number one, Erdogan is not so much against "Kurds" as against leftist Kurds, and initially he gained a lot from that distinction. Ceasefire with PKK gave some measure of domestic tranquility, Kurds got some language rights and more traditional Kurds voted for AKP. And economy was doing OK.

    The support for Syrian rebels, including ISIS (which differentiated from the rebel milieu, as many rebels gravitated to the most organized and successful group) preceded the break with PKK and hostility toward HDP. Moreover, rather than being an instrument of USA, Erdogan consistently pushed for more "action against the regime" and was publicly bitterly disappointed when Obama refrained from direct intervention.

    The mess in Turkey stems largely from Erdogan's personal philosophy: a good human is a Sunni human, and a good Turk is one who defers to the wisdom of his president. So naturally he jumped at the chance of installing a government by good people in Syria. And both PKK and HDP rejected his ambitions to be a President with extensive official powers, so they had to be "isolated and eliminated".

  2. Anonymous14/3/17 19:10

    It is too long to write here but, basically i must say you are mostly wrong. It is clear you don't know anything about Turkish politics. I can just say President Erdoğan is most Kurdish friendly politician (excluding Kurdish nationalists and far-leftists) in modern Turkey's history and here most of Kurds heavily support Erdoğan. Even social democrats criticize him for this. All that Russian war and ISIS things just nonsense. You can call him dictator or anything you want but, I must say that Erdoğan must be most supported president recently in the World.

    PS: Not voted him or his party once.

    1. Check this out:

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