Empowering Erdoğan?

The European Union’s soft line with Turkey at a recent meeting may ultimately represent a strategic risk.

During the past few months Turkey has launched several bold foreign policy initiatives, often with a strong military component. After much debate, the European Council, on October 1, decided to take a soft line toward Ankara by offering it incentives and sidelining the idea of imposing sanctions. Does such an approach create strategic risks for the European Union and NATO?

The European Union is, by construction, a benevolent entity promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts with and among its neighbors. Among European leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been particularly conciliatory with Turkey, as illustrated by the personal role she played in negotiating the refugee deal in 2015–2016 and the European Council’s conclusions on October 1.

However, this last episode is troubling. European leaders came together to discuss relations with Turkey following months of unilateral moves by Ankara against EU interests in Syria, Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the land border with Greece.

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Πηγή: carnegie-mec.org

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