President Erdogan’s re-election in Turkey is a monumental failure of Western pressure. Because of it, it’s time to take our eyes off Ukraine and look at a different theater of World War III with equal if not bigger implications.
Turkey is another in a now long string of failed Economic Hitman operations cum Color Revolutions. The last big one to fail was in Belarus in 2020 following the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko.
Turkey has been the subject of a seven-year campaign to be rid of Erdogan, beginning with the 2016 coup attempt organized out of the NATO airbase at Incerlik. Turkey’s been through a persistent five-year brutal devaluation of its currency, the lira, seeing it drop from less than 2 versus the US dollar to nearly 21 this week in the wake of Erdogan’s victory.
I’ve covered this story in detail (see my Turkey archives here) being one of the lone voices out there trying to parse Erdogan’s monetary policy actions which I’ve argued sought to de-dollarize Turkey’s foreign exchange liabilities and forge an independent path.
Erdogan, wily as a fox, has been deftly playing the US and Russia/China off each other for years, positioning Turkey simultaneously as a member of NATO, the gatekeeper to the Black Sea, and the financial and trade crossroads linking East and West.
The West’s campaign to overthrow President Assad in Syria beginning in 2011 couldn’t have gone forward without Erdogan’s help. He went along with it very willingly having been promised Turkey claiming Idlib province in the West and taking most of the north. Vladimir Putin accepting Assad’s invitation for assistance in fighting ISIS and Erdogan’s pets in Idlib (Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham or HTS) began the unraveling of those plans.
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