Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Turkey's Erdogan is part of the

problem, not part of the solution  - at least, at present.
In order for Erdogan to stay in power he has to keep the religious conservatives happy. It is why he has been moving toward an increasingly conservative religious rather than a secular state. 
He also needs to keep the Kurds suppressed in order to maintain control.Any failure to do that and he will be seen as weak. He has enemies who will be prepared to move in rapidly.
The election results earlier this year were unexpected.Erdogan and his party misjudged the mood of the electorate.  Erdogan could not afford to allow the Kurds a real voice in parliament. The "trouble" leading to the second election was deliberately orchestrated - and the outcome of the second election just what was expected by everyone. Erdogan was back in control.
This is the man who wants Turkey to become part of  the European Union. It would be politically very convenient for Turkey, especially if the country became part of the Schengen zone - that region of Europe which allows for free passage between the citizens of countries who have signed up to it. Even if Turkey did become a member of the EU it is very very unlikely the other Schengen zone countries would agree - but Turkey would like it to happen. So would much of the Middle East. Such a move would make it much easier to move vast numbers of people from neighbouring countries into Europe.
Erdogan is as dangerous as Putin. Downing a Russian fighter plane was foolish in the extreme but it will make Erdogan appear strong at home. What it will do to Turkey's European Union aspirations and relations is yet to be seen. Right now though I suspect Erdogan is more concerned about staying in power.

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