Why Erdogan’s Turkey is a threat to Europe
In the height of summer, France and Turkey entered a new ice age. Relations between the two countries have always been rather cold, but in this particular moment between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the cold has fallen. The clash concerns issues of the past, such as the Armenian genocide and whether or not it is permissible to classify it as such, and today’s crisis, such as the role played by Turkey in the ongoing civil wars in Libya and Syria.
Four ingredients help create the perfect recipe for disaster. One is the interest in natural gas in the region, which for a decade has attracted the sights not only of Greece and Turkey, but also of Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, and other countries. These countries are aspiring to become regional energy powers, in able to supply the European market, and to present a strategic alternative to Russian gas.
Some hoped that the construction of gas pipelines in the eastern Mediterranean could foster regional cooperation, as happened in some cases.But Turkey has shown that it wants everything for itself, invading the territorial waters of other countries and breaking international treaties.
The second ingredient that makes Erdogan’s Turkey a threat rather than an ally concerns the migrant issue. The Turkish sultan has paved the way for thousands of migrants and asylum seekers from Lebanon and Syria to Greece, arousing many concerns about the risk of terrorist infiltrations from the Syrian theatre.Erdogan used the lives of millions of migrants as a blackmail card to Europe, first on the Greek border, and today from Libya, controlling the western coasts from Sabratha to Misurata, where thousands of mercenaries transferred from Syria in recent months are still operating.
The third factor concerns precisely the interests in Libya. Erdogan, after militarily aided the Government of National Accord of Fayez al-Serraj, has already collected over 16 million dollars for the compensation suffered by Turkish companies in 2011. He has also secured million-dollar projects in the military sector, grabbing the military base of al-Watiya, Abu Qurain south of Misrata, and at least one field hospital in Tripoli.Negotiations are still underway on the port of Misurata.Turkey has also stolen from Europeans dozens of projects related to the requalification of infrastructures in Libya, such as electricity and water networks.
The fourth ingredient concerns the Turkish threat to Christian and European values and culture. Ankara has married and promoted political Islam by allying itself with Qatar. The Muslim Brotherhood, in addition to supporting, financing, and arming dangerous terrorist groups, today winks at right-wing extremist groups in Italy and France.
They finance the construction of mosques and Islamic cultural centers where he professes anti-Semitism and hatred of the West. The recent conversion of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque is only the latest sign of religious and social intolerance promoted by Turkey.
At-risk therefore are not only energy, geopolitical and security interests, but also European cultural roots. Erdogan made no secret of his plan to revive the Ottoman Empire. It has already brought democratic Turkey back a hundred years through repression policies against the regime’s opponents, imprisoning and killing dozens of journalists and activists, exterminating the Kurds described as terrorists. All that does not fit with the principles of freedom, democracy, and progress that unite the peoples of Europe.