Failures Of An Economic Hitman In Turkey: Erdogan Re-elected

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog

President Erdogan’s re-election in Turkey is a monumental failure of Western pressure. Because of it, it’s time to take our eyes off Ukraine and look at a different theatre of World War III with equal if not bigger implications. Turkey is another in a now long string of failed Economic Hitman operations cum Color Revolutions. The last big one to fail was in Belarus in 2020 following the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko.

Turkey has been the subject of a seven-year campaign to be rid of Erdogan, beginning with the 2016 coup attempt organized out of the NATO airbase at Incerlik. Turkey’s been through a persistent five-year brutal devaluation of its currency, the lira, seeing it drop from less than 2 versus the US dollar to nearly 21 this week in the wake of Erdogan’s victory.

Erdogan, wily as a fox, has been deftly playing the US and Russia/China off each other for years, positioning Turkey simultaneously as a member of NATO, the gatekeeper to the Black Sea, and the financial and trade crossroads linking East and West.

The West’s campaign to overthrow President Assad in Syria beginning in 2011 couldn’t have gone forward without Erdogan’s help. He went along with it very willingly having been promised Turkey claiming Idlib province in the West and taking most of the north. Vladimir Putin accepting Assad’s invitation for assistance in fighting ISIS and Erdogan’s pets in Idlib (Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham or HTS) began the unravelling of those plans.

Turkey shooting down a Russian SU-31 in November 2015 was supposed to push Putin to war against Turkey, giving NATO every reason to engage the Russians directly. But Putin and Erdogan came to an understanding over this incident, implying that it wasn’t on Erdogan’s orders the Russian plane was shot down, but rather the usual suspects at Foggy Bottom, Langley, and GCHQ in London who did.

These were moments where Russia and NATO were being pressed into conflict and Putin refused to follow the ready-made Tom Clancy script prepared for him by the spooks who never seem to run out of at-bats no matter how many times they strike out. It is against this background that we have to analyze the complete failure that is the West’s campaign to unseat Erdogan and his AKP party from power in Turkey.

The ZIRP years in the West coincided with the big degradation of Turkey’s finances as Erdogan invited Western investment into the country to support his territorial ambitions. In effect, Erdogan’s pragmatism led him to nearly every move he’s made over the past decade, going along with NATO when they were on the offensive, but quickly pivoting and cutting bait on a policy the minute they were put on the defensive, c.f. my above comments about Syria.

In fact, it’s easy to argue that Erdogan’s breaking point with the West over Syria is what has dominated geopolitical headlines for the past seven years. He relishes the role as the guy with the leverage of overall NATO policy in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, whose access he controls thanks to the 1936 Treaty of Montreaux. He’s still holding Sweden’s entry hostage, something I get the feeling the new government in Stockholm prefers.

With his re-election and Turkey’s finances improving Turkey’s importance will only grow. He will not leave NATO willingly, instead using his veto power to slow the roll of the neocons, Eurocrats, and globalists who have betrayed not only him but Turkey. For all of his aspirations, Erdogan is a Turkish nationalist through and through.

He will now throw more sand in the gear works of NATO’s plans for a wider conflict in the region from Ukraine to Iran and Armenia until the West kicks Turkey out or someone assassinates him. All the while he will continue to invite Russian, Iranian and Chinese money into Turkey with the goal of lowering its dependence on foreign energy trades settled in the dollar. The Turkish people have given him another five years to complete this transition away from the West to an independent trade hub. If the West is smart they will not antagonize him further.

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Zero Hedge

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