The Guardian newspaper published an analysis entitled “The West between Fear and Hope with Erdoğan’s Continuation of Türkiye’s Rule”.
“The West fears that Erdoğan will take advantage of the result to take Türkiye – a founding member of NATO – away from the secular liberal West,” Patrick Wintour wrote.
The West hopes that, since he is ineligible to run again, and thus freed from the need to please nationalist voters for the rest of his political life, Erdoğan may at least open himself up and base his foreign policy on something other than the principle of self-preservation.
“The immediate issue is to prevent him from falling into Vladimir Putin’s lap,” Wintour wrote.
Lately he has developed a real hatred of Western values one Western diplomat said.
He also recalled what Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said during the election campaign, “Anyone who shows pro-Western tendencies is a traitor”.
Wintour comments on Soylu’s statement, saying, “It may have been just an election speech, but it reflects the mentality in Türkiye and perhaps in other countries”.
According to the Article, the first test for Erdoğan will come at the NATO summit in Vilnius, where he will be asked to abandon the Veto, which Türkiye used against Sweden’s accession to NATO.
“He has already lifted his ban on Finland’s membership but has left Sweden in limbo and in a potentially dangerous gray area”.
Sweden, which has a larger Kurdish population than Finland, says it is struggling to justify some of Erdoğan’s demands, including the handover of 140 Kurds, whose names haven’t been finally transferred to the Swedish government.
Stockholm is tightening its anti-terrorism laws to satisfy Ankara and is ready to study the evidence that the Kurdish community in Sweden has become a large source of funding for the PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union and Türkiye.
However, the right-wing Swedish government cannot order its judges to hand over the Kurds.
US President Joe Biden, and despite his description of Erdoğan as a tyrant, is ready to lift the embargo, support the sale of F16s worth $20 billion and open a new chapter with Türkiye.
The US president must first convince the leaders of the House and Senate Foreign Affairs Committees to support the sale.
Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, recently hinted at flexibility, saying he was willing to support the deal as long as the Swedish-NATO issue was resolved.
He pointed out that Democrats in Congress want broader assurances about Türkiye stopping its threats to Greece, so the talk of stopping military exercises in the Aegean Sea is promising.
Even arms sales won’t in and of themselves end Erdoğan’s resistance to Western efforts to separate him from Putin.
Erdoğan had said in his election campaign that his country and Russia have a special relationship.
He spoke about his personal relations with Putin, saying it puts him in a good position to act as a mediator on the war in Ukraine.
All of this made it difficult for US officials who traveled to Ankara to urge Erdoğan to crack down on Turkish companies that serve as a conduit to bypass Western sanctions on Russia to support Ukraine.
The United States has raised Turkish deals with sanctioned Russian companies, trade with Russia in Western-made products, and the export of so-called dual-use goods such as plastics, rubber, and electronics to Russia to little effect.
Wintour considered that Türkiye is simply not ready to impose sanctions on Russia, and Washington isn’t ready to impose secondary sanctions on Türkiye, for fear that Erdoğan will be pushed into the arms of Putin.
“More broadly, the West favors Erdoğan’s plans to reduce tensions with his neighbors including Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt and Armenia, Wintour concluded.