The Tur­key tu­to­rial to fear

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS KONSTANDARAS

tu­tion, how­ever, his ex­cesses (which, we must stress, were tem­pered in his clashes with a “deep state” that re­peat­edly tried to de­stroy him), have driven the coun­try into the cur­rent cri­sis. Af­ter sur­viv­ing the at­tempted coup last July – which he de­scribed as a “god­send” – when al­most all Turk­ish cit­i­zens sided with him, the pres­i­dent has con­tin­u­ally in­vested in di­vi­sion and fear in or­der to keep his sup­port­ers close to him. This tac­tic pre­ceded July, when Er­do­gan pushed Kur­dish sep­a­ratists to pick up arms af­ter years of peace ne­go­ti­a­tions so that his AKP party could gain in elec­tions. The greater the ten­sion, the more the govern­ment needs new en­e­mies, the more it di­vides so­ci­ety. Abroad, the con­tin­ual drive to find en­e­mies for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion leads to hap­haz­ard for­eign pol­icy. First, Ankara aban­doned a long friend­ship with Bashar al-As­sad’s Syria, con­tribut­ing to the rise of the self-de­clared Is­lamic State and bring­ing Tur­key into di­rect con­fronta­tion with Rus­sia. When this be­came too dan­ger­ous, Tur­key changed course and now has troops in Syria and north­ern Iraq, is tied to Rus­sia’s char­iot and its re­la­tions with the United States are chilly, to say the least. Scores of Turk­ish sol­diers have been killed in clashes with IS, and the ter­ror­ists even pro­duced a hor­ren­dous video show­ing them burn­ing alive two men who they said were Turk­ish sol­diers. The dan­ger of a

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