Where is Recep Tayyip Erdogan going? It is a key question from last Sunday midnight and the new challenge with the “Oruts Reyes” voyage south of Kastellorizo, which is now spreading to non-diplomats. Mainly because the wider society as a whole understands that Ankara’s move seems inexplicable, at a time when everyone is supposed to be preparing for the start of a cycle of exploratory talks that, in fact, would lead to a normalization. It is self-evident for almost everyone, after all, inside and outside the borders, that with the seismograph dragging cables to the borders of the Greek maritime space, even if not legally demarcated, no dialogue can start. Erdogan, therefore, took a step that shapes a different context, “short-circuiting” the European capitals that still faced it with tolerance. There are many questions about his tactics, as well as the scenarios through which he tries to explain his attitude, as he seems to put them all in the opposite direction. A scenario, shared in Berlin, says that the Turkish president feels uncomfortable with pressure to start a dialogue on a single issue, as indicated by the previous Maritime Settlement Summit. And with the new show “tsabouka” in the Eastern Mediterranean, it seeks to inflate the agenda of the investigators with other issues, indirectly legitimizing some Turkish claims. The demand for the demilitarization of the Aegean islands, for example, or issues related to the Muslim minority in Thrace. It is a scenario that Athens considers unfounded, and the resident of Ak Sarai knows that he will not find recipients. A second approach wants Erdogan to feel omnipotent regionally and a great player on the international chessboard – therefore, through a demonstrates that it can write off commitments and “empty” the EU, NATO, Washington and Berlin, without consequences. In the end, allies, friends and opponents will accept that Ankara needs to win more – so the one to be pressured will be Athens. In fact, Erdogan is not in a better position, on the contrary, he has angered many who will need him. The third scenario sees a war-monger Erdogan. From northern Iraq and Syria to Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey is now in a cycle of war – which could go through a “hot episode” in the Aegean. Investing in military armaments, he therefore expects to confirm the image of a Turkish hegemony in the Eastern Mediterranean through military conflicts. A fourth scenario has to do with Erdogan’s psychosynthesis. After two decades in the Turkish leadership, he feels invulnerable and no longer has a relationship with Erdogan of the first period. Authoritarianism is linked to bigotry, military coercion and corruption, portraying an image of an “elected sultan” who moves strangely – and is capable of everything. The fifth scenario looks inside Turkey, which is obviously interested in Erdogan above all else. . The Turkish pound is falling apart, Turkish society is being squeezed and gradually but steadily no longer sees the Turkish president as a “reformer”, but as the central figure of an increasingly rigid regime, eventually controlling the ballot box. If for Erdogan the countdown has begun, the moves he is making to keep Turkish society afloat are not necessarily rational. It will soon be clear which scenario prevails. The worst case scenario, however, is that all five may apply.
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