Turkey’s diplomatic troubles shall never end!6 March 2020
Almost 24 hours after the “historic” cease-fire protocol signed by Putin and Erdogan, Syria’s war-ravaged Idlib Province is experiencing clam, but a majority of experts and refugees huddled at Turkey’s border express doubt about its durability. Just as Idlib Crisis could have been put on back burner, President Erdogan suddenly reiterated that Russian made S-400 anti-missile systems will be activated in April, annoying the American congress.
As EU governments have refused to increase financial aid to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey under the terms of their €6bn migration deal, insisting Europe would not bow to threats from Ankara over opening its border with Greece, according to Financial Times, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu dispatched 1K crack police troops to the Greek border to prevent repatriation of refugees who managed to break through of Greece, raising the potential for clashes with Greek border patrols. Will Turkey ever breathe a day of peace and calm?
Erdogan: S-400 air defence systems will enter service in Turkey in April
Bloomberg reports that Turkey will activate its Russian-made S-400 missile-defense systems in April, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, possibly setting his country on a collision course with its NATO allies.
“The S-400s are our property now. We’ve taken delivery of all of it. They will be made operational in April,” Erdogan said on his return to Istanbul from talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow, according to Turkish media.
Washington has threatened Turkey with sanctions over its decision to press ahead with deploying the S-400s, and has warned the country against activating them if it wants to buy rival American Patriot batteries and return to joint production of the F-35 stealth warplane. The U.S. fears that the Russian missiles could compromise NATO technology.
EU: We should not react to the pressure that Turkey is exerting on us by offering them more money under pressure
According to Financial Times, following an emergency meeting in Zagreb on Friday, EU27 foreign ministers held firm on their criticism of Mr. Erdogan for using migrants for “political purposes” after a build-up of refugees on the Greek-Turkish border. Mr. Erdogan had vowed to open the country’s frontier with Europe at the weekend, sparking the prospect of a new refugee crisis.
While there is neither consensus in Washington or Brussels about what to do with Turkey, Erdogan’s growing reliance on Putin and the strange behavior of asking “the West” for help in Syria, while at the same time using Russian weapons and trying to trigger a refugee crisis is a dangerous game. At the near future, bogged down in their corona problem, US and EU might decide to coddle Turkey, resorting of coercion, i.e. sanctions instead.
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