Ankara pursues what is called a “crisis-of-the-month” strategy by the AK Party to distract from economic failures at home.
Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis is escorted by Turkish Navy ships as it sets sail in the Mediterranean Sea, off Antalya, Turkey, August 10, 2020.
(photo credit: TURKISH DEFENCE MINISTRY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Turkey’s war against the international community, its neighbors, Europe – and basically every country it deals with – heated up on Monday as the country’s leadership bashed the EU and UN after facing sanctions and criticism. Ankara has made almost all criticism at home illegal, prosecuting people for critiquing the country’s COVID-19 response, jailing journalists and charging comedians. This has led the regime to believe its own increasingly militarist statements about its abilities.
A UN human rights report has accused Turkish-backed extremists of rape and looting in areas Turkey illegally occupies in Syria. In response, Ankara says the “UN failed once again.” Turkey accused the UN of not doing enough to stop COVID-19. However, it was clear the critique was related to getting revenge on the UN for daring to critique Ankara.
Then Turkey bashed the European Union. The EU has been trying to stand up to Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean. The union has sanctioned a Turkish firm because Turkey has flooded Libya with weapons, violating an arms embargo. “It has no value in our sight to add our maritime company to the sanctions list in the context of Libya as a result of the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s meeting,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
As if picking a fight with the EU and UN wasn’t enough, Turkey is now trying to stoke a crisis with Armenia. Ankara pursues what is called a “crisis-of-the-month” strategy by the AK Party to distract from economic failures at home. Last month it was sending naval ships to the Eastern Mediterranean to threaten Greece. In the past several months, it bombed Iraq and threatened Kurds in Syria. In March, it caused a crisis in Idlib, then a border crisis with Greece and then sent mercenaries to Libya in April and May where it caused another crisis.
Now Turkey’s Defense Ministry on Monday warned Armenia against playing with fire after an Azerbaijani soldier was killed in a clash. Turkey’s media, which is all pro-government, calls Azerbaijan soldiers “martyrs.” Turkey slammed “Armenia, which unlawfully occupied Upper Karabakh, [has] now violated the cease-fire in Tovuz region and killed a heroic Azerbaijani soldier,” the ministry said on Twitter. Anadolu media in Turkey said that Ankara “also wished Allah’s mercy upon the martyred soldier and conveyed condolences to the brotherly country of Azerbaijan.”
Turkey may be preparing a new crisis in the Caucasus. It has hinted in recent months that it could either target countries in that region or Israel. Turkey’s president has vowed to “liberate” Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and has opposed the US peace deals with the UAE. However, Turkey’s regime has also taken an active role opposing US Presidential nominee Joe Biden, so it needs Trump’s administration and knows the White House is close to Israel.
Turkey’s calculations are that it can bash France, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Israel, the US and other counties, as well as the UN and EU, while bombing Syria and Iraq and sending mercenaries and arms to Libya – and that it will continue to achieve its goals because other countries don’t want conflict.