Will Turkey turn its back to the West forever?

By Panayiotis Alimisis*

It is not certain that Turkey’s leadership decided to change radically its attitude towards the West. The close economic and soon military relationship with Putin’s Russia, is still very strong although not yet strategic. However the recent «showdown» of the Turkish economy, forces the local elites to eliminate the differences which keep the bilateral relations between Ankara and the West in the ice. American President Donald Trump stated recently that he has «no problems with the Turkish government and Tayip Erdogan himself», or «the Turkish people». At the same time, Holland and Germany re-examined their own policy on Turkey attempting a new approach. Both countries are trade partners with Ankara, therefore, any problem will affect seriously their own economies. Speaking with numbers the turkish- Dutch trade, comes up to 10 billion dollars while with Germany is about the double…

Erdogan cannot open multiple fronts with the West and retain a strong opposition to USA and the EU, simply because he needs the money, but also he wants to regain any opportunity for investment, in order to boost the troubled economy. In geopolitical terms, the westerner’s still want Turkey to remain the frontline of NATO and the West in the Middle East, otherwise, Russia can take advantage through Ankara and become a serious competitor in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The only ‘obstacle’ of the West in Turkey is Tayip Erdogan. So the question is this: Is Erdogan capable of keeping a balance between the two sides?

 

∗ Panayiotis Alimisis is a journalist. He studied Modern History and International Relations at London Metropolitan University

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