How the European Union Should Tackle Turkey’s Hostility

The era of European benevolence and benign neglect with Ankara is over; Turkey is now openly adversarial toward the entire European Union and NATO. It’s time for the EU to clarify its response.

When dealing with Turkey in recent years, puzzled European governments have often oscillated between countering Ankara’s animosity and showing openness to dialogue.

It is now beyond doubt that the trajectory chosen by Turkey’s leaders is going against the interests and values of the EU in a host of different ways.

Rule of law is being systematically destroyed. An absurd economic policy is weakening a large partner country and jeopardizing the stock of European investment. Turkey’s relations with its neighbors have sharply deteriorated, and the EU’s calls for dialogue remain unheeded.

The path to a comprehensive agreement on Cyprus has been closed by the Turkish president, who has said he favors a two-state solution for the island, which has been divided since 1974.

Ankara’s defense choices have played in favor of Russia, not NATO. Foreign policy has been militarized and become unpredictable. The intervention in Libya has created risks for European interests and could destabilize countries in the Sahel. Refugees have been weaponized, as seen in February 2020 at the land border with Greece.

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