The dan­gers of an ab­surd game

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ALEXIS PAPACHELAS

re­lies on pub­lic skep­ti­cism vis-a-vis Is­lam. On the other hand, there is wannabe sul­tan Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan. The Turk­ish pres­i­dent has clearly gone off the rails, con­fus­ing re­al­ity with para­noia and delu­sions of grandeur. The prob­lem is that the be­hav­ior of the Dutch and other Euro­pean gov­ern­ments is feed­ing into the no­tion of vic­tim­iza­tion be­ing nour­ished by Er­do­gan. The Turk­ish press and so­cial me­dia are go­ing all out with con­spir­acy the­o­ries. Ir­ra­tional­ity has reached fever pitch. The ma­jor­ity of Er­do­gan’s sup­port­ers feel that “the Euro­peans do not want us.” Po­lit­i­cally and cul­tur­ally, Turkey is drift­ing fur­ther away from the EU. And this trend is very hard to re­verse. Eco­nomic ties are of course vi­tal and any dam­age comes at a hefty price. How­ever, it’s very un­likely that eco­nomic logic will have any ef­fect on Er­do­gan’s pos­tur­ing. His be­hav­ior is best ex­plained through psy­cho­anal­y­sis, rather than cold fig­ures. Greece changed its strat­egy many years ago. It re­al­ized that it was fool­ish to fight Turkey’s Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship hopes on be­half of other gov­ern­ments that kept their skep­ti­cism to­ward Ankara se­cret. Of course, nei­ther Ger­many nor Hol­land share a border with a neigh­bor that is suf­fer­ing from a nerv-

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