Why Brussels, Paris, Berlin, the USA are avoiding a victory for Erdogan – Analyzes du Monde

Why Brussels, Paris, Berlin, the USA are avoiding a victory for Erdogan – Analyzes du Monde

Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not have the most cordial relations with many leaders around the world, with the main exception of Vladimir Putin.

The inauguration via video link by Erdogan and Putin of Turkey’s first Russian-built and operated nuclear power plant in Akuyu on April 27 amid election campaigning in the neighboring country provides insight into the geopolitical stakes of today’s election in Turkey, comments an analysis of World.

“A victory for Erdogan will be a victory for Putin,” said former EU ambassador to Ankara and Carnegie Europe fellow Mark Pierini. On the other hand, a victory for the six-party opposition candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, would be convenient for the West, even if Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Washington move discreetly to avoid a new outburst of anger from the incumbent president. However, the West is now taking seriously the long-delusional and internally desired scenario of a power shift in Ankara despite lingering doubts about the fairness of the elections and about Erdogan’s reaction if things weren’t for him. favorable in the ballot. box.

Hopes for Erdogan’s overthrow

Turkey’s economic crisis – largely the result of Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies – his government’s chaotic handling of January’s Enceladus double-deal and voter fatigue with an increasingly authoritarian regime are fueling hopes of the opposition coalition – and internally of the West. “If Turkish voters manage to get Erdogan out of his presidential palace, it will be a major geopolitical turning point,” said former Spanish foreign minister Arança Gonzalez.

Could Greece and Turkey reconcile after the elections? -Analysis of Al Jazeera

While he has no intention of sacrificing economic ties with Russia or abandoning the Akuyu power station, Kilicdaroglu has shown his willingness to normalize relations with Turkey’s western partners.

A promise that seems self-evident for any leader of a NATO member state and candidate for EU membership, but not at all obvious after Erdogan’s twenty years in power, which have put a strain on is straining relations with his Western counterparts and has reached the point of characterizing ‘Former Nazi German Chancellor Angela Merkel and claiming that French President Emmanuel Macron ‘needs psychotherapy’.

Warnings to Turkey on relations with Moscow

The war in Ukraine gives a good idea of ​​the double game of Erdogan’s Turkey, comments the French newspaper.

If the war brought NATO together, Turkey condemned Putin’s war, sold drones to Ukraine, closed the Bosphorus strait to all warships, but did not apply the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West, which it even considers that Ankara is helping Moscow to circumvent them, and their trade has exploded since the start of the war.

“The warnings have multiplied, the Turks are starting to realize the problem, but they must put their words into practice,” said a European diplomat. “In the current situation, the main issue for Europeans as for all Westerners is Turkey’s relationship with NATO compared to that which it maintains with Russia”, observes Pierini. “Two questions remain open: will Turkey participate in operations to reassure the allies in the eastern horn of NATO? And what will he do with the Russian missiles (S-400)?

What will happen to Turkey’s accession process?

Erdogan is also one of the few NATO leaders who has taken no action to protect the alliance’s eastern horn from Russian threats, instead vetoing Sweden’s entry, an obstacle that the Turkish opposition is ready to lift as soon as possible, according to officials in Stockholm.

“If Erdogan is defeated and accepts his defeat, it will change a lot of things. Whatever the outcome of the elections, it would be good to renew relations with Turkey,” said a diplomatic source, wishing the Union to adapt its attitude towards Ankara to the degree of “democratic renewal” and restoration of the rule of law that the opposition has promised.

“No one is currently thinking of a resumption of negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the EU”, comments Monde. “Although it is geopolitically necessary and economically feasible, Turkey’s accession is very difficult from a political point of view because of the reaction it provokes in certain member states,” says Arança González.

However, the 27 could propose an extension of the customs union with Turkey, possibly the liberalization of visas for Turkish citizens and the attachment of Ankara to certain energy projects in the Mediterranean, in order to reduce the differences with Greece, notes the French newspaper “The questions will remain difficult, but the climate will calm down”, hopes Pierini, warning however of possible points of friction on the Syrian file, while the Turkish opposition considers the possibility of recognizing the regime of Bashar al-Assad and to send Syrian refugees back to their homeland.

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