Thursday, October 25, 2018

What's Turkey Up To?

The media's been doing a particularly poor job of explaining Turkeyish leader Recep Erdoğan's strategy in the wake of the Khashoggi murder. But the Washington Examiner's Tom Rogan, who's been reporting on Erdoğan for quite some time, has been offering nice clear, terse explainers. You can steam through the backlog in under 10 minutes to get a much, much better grip on what's going on.

If you have time for only one, see Rogan's 600 word overvierw from Tuesday: How President Erdogan is using Jamal Khashoggi's murder to his own advantage. Here's a sample:
Erdogan knows that he must strike a balanced line with the Saudis. Riyadh is already furious with Erdogan for what it regards as his excessive support for Islamist movements beyond Saudi control. But with the Turkish economy struggling, Erdogan has little appetite for punitive Saudi economic measures. For the Turkish leader, then, the great balancing act is extracting maximum concessions from Saudi Arabia, bringing significant negative attention to Saudi Arabia, but also avoiding a complete diplomatic breach with Saudi Arabia. That's why Erdogan is putting the ball in bin Salman's court as to whether he wants to play hardball or not. Both sides, Erdogan ventures, will choose Erdogan's blackmail choice.
The essential previous reports are all embedded therein. They're all terse, so ADD is not a legitimate reason to avoid powering through! I'll list them out below:
The madness of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Deep background on Erdogan's scariness, from February).

Severely punishing Saudi Arabia means punishing Mohammed bin Salman (Very recent).

Why Turkey released pastor Andrew Brunson (Erdogan is rethinking his split with America).

The Erdogan-Putin Idlib deal is a fraud (Russian President Vladimir Putin has played Erdogan for a fool in Syria).

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