Global Independent Analytics
Giuseppe Zaccaria
Giuseppe Zaccaria

Location: Italy

Specialization: Balkans, Yugoslavia

Who will stop Erdogan?

If we want to relate what happens in the world with Western pace of life, everything must have happened more or less when we "were on the fish course of the vigil and the broth of Christmas..."

...but while we were celebrating, in parts of Cizre, a few hundred tanks surrounded the inhabited area and began to shoot. Now do not dare ask where Cizre is, because until a few minutes ago I did not know it either and it is not even in the Wikipedia. When looking at the map of Turkey, it turns out to be a Turkish city of nearly 100 thousand inhabitants that overlooks the Tigris River and has an elevation from which you can see Syria. Let's say that it’s one of the many forgotten corners of the world. However, in that forgotten corner, a majority of the population is Kurdish, and day by day the army of RecepTayyip Erdogan is bombing them.

The rest of the world would never have known had it not been for the BBC, which occasionally reminds everyone why it is considered a major broadcaster. On 22 December the program "News Hour" of the BBC World Service was able to connect live with a municipal worker who was hiding along with 26 other people in two rooms in the center of Cizre, and interviewed him while bullets were flying around the building. "It is as if the State had declared war on the people," said the poor man, and the statement seemed to come from another tragic story, one that a few years ago occurred in Homs, that gave rise to the rebellion against Bashar al-Assad. It is not enough: a few days before, the Turkish army had surrounded another Kurdish city, Diyarbakir, attacking the center and imposing a curfew of ten days.

You will never know what cause this Christmas offensive and the Kurds cannot tell the story as they are being killed: the regime of RecepTayyip Erdogan jailed or silenced journalists in the area and the only foreign correspondent was expelled: Friederike Geerdink. However, at this point, it is appropriate to ask at least two questions: the first is why the big media outlets in Europe and especially the Italians have completely ignored the story. The second is, about how can we sustain Turkish attacks and attempts to destroy the only force which has so far been able to fight effectively on the ground against the Islamic state.

The answer to the first question is in part thanks to the miserable state of information, which should be a European embarrassment. A month ago the EU promised 3 billion euros a year to the Erdogan regime to stem the tide of refugees. Even more unacceptable and scandalous, however, is the fact that Erdogan, in theory, led the fight against the Caliphate and in practice, bought oil smuggled out by the same people he supposedly fought, and went on to exterminate his opponents. What does this game mean? Do we believe that the new Sultan has gone mad and entered a state of delirium with the rest of the world not caring?

But come on... How can President Barack Obama tolerate this disproportionate attack against the Kurds? What explains the silence of Prime Minister David Cameron, who also defines the ISIS as "the generational struggle of our time"?

How does the West continue to tolerate Ankara's dirty game? Maybe the fact that it does, explains a lot more.

Erdogan continues to behave like an autocrat invested with a divine mission while the rest of the world remains silent. He knocked down a Russian military plane which had (perhaps) crossed the border for seven seconds and the White House said that "Turkey has the right to defend its airspace." He arrested journalists of Hurriyet (and kept them in isolation until recently), guilty of having criticized him, and no one lifts a finger. He invades Iraq with his troops and Baghdad must move mountains to get the Western powers to "advise" Ankara to kindly withdraw. He is accused in parliament of having produced the Sarin gas, used to massacre civilians in Syria, and all are quiet. He continues to pursue a change in the Constitution that will give him even more power and the only voice that dares to criticize this comes from his Islam-inspired party (AKP), and from the Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinc, whom Erdogan publicly advised not to make too much noise about the government's Kurdish policy and to mind his own business.

There is only one explanation for all this, and unfortunately, it is that Turkey today can be conveniently relied upon to do the dirty work for the advocates of chaos after the downing of the jet and refusal to apologize for it. Relations between Moscow and Ankara are virtually non-existent, Turkey can even close the Bosporus and the Dardanelles for Russian ships, but in the meantime Russia has deployed in the Mediterranean, and the Caspian Sea ships and submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles, and "S 400"  batteries control the whole of Syrian airspace.

Since today, all war games conducted by Pentagon experts (it is said that there were sixteen) have led to the same conclusion: eventual clashes will cause more or less devastating destruction scenarios and an apocalypse, with Russia the likely winner and the world (or at least the Middle East) on its knees. It will be enough if Erdogan starts with a new provocation with his military, for the Russian reaction to being immediate, resulting in an appeal of Turkey to NATO for an intervention based on the common defense clause of Article 5.

These are all scenarios that Dr. Strangelove has already written and analyzed in the minutest detail, so if something like that were ever to happen no one no one will be able to claim surprise. So, once we have digested the cake, put the nose back out, let us ask ourselves the question with some urgency: is this what we want to get?

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