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Turkey's Drift from the West

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The diplomatic spat between Turkey and its Western allies continues to escalate, with no end in sight. Lately, there are further signs that Turkey is cozying up to Russia and Iran. Aykan Erdemir, PhD, Senior Fellow Foundation for Defense of Democracies explaines.

AVRUPA TIMES/LONDON-"President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today declared Germany’s CDU, SPD and Greens as “enemies of Turkey,” and called for Turkish-Germans not to vote for these parties. The diplomatic spat between Turkey and its Western allies continues to escalate, with no end in sight. Lately, there are further signs that Turkey is cozying up to Russia and Iran. As I discuss in my recent interview in Hard News Foreign Policy, “For Erdogan, personal interest trumps national interest,” Turkey’s “ongoing drift from the transatlantic alliance and values is music to Putin’s ears,” who looks forward to the opportunity to undermine NATO. Turkey’s descent into authoritarianism and pivot to the strongmen of the East, has not only harmed Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy, but also taken a heavy toll on its economy. In my Politico Europe piece, “Turkey’s economy: The next casualty of Erdogan’s state of emergency,” I warn about the consequences AKP’s crony-capitalism.As Turkey suffers the detrimental effects of ill-advised economic and social policies, the country’s religious minorities increasingly become scapegoats and targets of hate crime. In my FDD Policy Brief, “Istanbul’s Iconic Synagogue Besieged by Islamist Nationalists,” I discuss how the Turkish government’s complicity in hate speech and incitement, and the country’s deeply ingrained culture of impunity, is “alarming for the future of Turkey’s religious minorities.”Turkey’s opposition parties are also coming under increasing pressure, as Erdogan uses the abortive coup to consolidate his one-man rule. In our FDD Policy Brief, “Turkey Defies Coup, But Not One-Man Rule,” Merve Tahiroglu and I predict that “more detentions are almost certain to follow” in Turkey.Despite the state of emergency and the ruthless crackdown on all forms of dissent, Turkish citizens are relentless in their struggle against Erdogan’s authoritarianism."

Aykan Erdemir, PhD

Senior Fellow

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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