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Turkey in Tatters: Foreign and Domestic

The following article by Vilen Khlgatyan, IWP Class of 2013, was published by the Political Developments Research Center.

The regime in Ankara has been a poor ally of the West since the Erdogan-led Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power in 2002. True-to-form, the two-faced Turkish leadership refused to allow U.S. warplanes to take off from Turkish-NATO bases and bomb ISIS or provide any military supplies to Kobane’s besieged Kurdish defenders. Two reasons are behind this decision: 1) Turkey supports ISIS and in recent years has allowed volunteers sympathetic to the terrorist cause to cross into Iraq and Syria with Western knowledge; 2) paramount to the realization of Ankara’s neo-Ottoman dreams is preventing the establishment of an independent Kurdistan, or at least re-drawing the political map of the Middle East. The Turks are aware that the entire region is in shambles. They want to pick up as many geopolitical pieces as possible so as to weld a new structure with Turkey as the lead power. It is a high stakes gamble that aims to return Turkey to its heyday as the Ottoman Empire. More importantly Ankara wants to weaken Western hegemony over Turkey. This explains why the Turks bankrolled and provided political capital to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Gaza, and Syria. The goal was and remains the installation of friendly regimes in various strategic states throughout the Near East, which then take their cue from Turkish policies for the region. In other words, this is the Erdogan regime’s implementation of smart power theory.

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