Erdogan’s strategy: blackmailing refugees is always possible

NSIn the football motto: Never change a winning team. This is a tactic that Erdogan, who played football professionally in his youth, not only knows but also uses. As long as he’s on the winning path, he doesn’t change anything and he doesn’t change the people around him. The slogan also applies to Erdogan’s tactics. He will not abandon the tactics that will lead him to victory. If he has to deal with a similar scenario again, he uses the tried and true tactic. In the game that is presented with this tactic, which is also acceptable to the West, the losers rarely change either. Has it become as complicated as the infiltration rule? I’ll explain that in a bit, don’t worry. To do this, I must briefly say what kind of surface football is played here. . .

On the Turkish version of the column
Click to read the original Turkish version of the article

Erdogan is currently living through the most difficult days of his rule. He came to power in 2002 after replacing the coalition government that was shaken by the economic crisis and led Turkey into a much worse economic crisis for the next twenty years. I don’t want to confuse you with a lot of economic data, suffice to say that the number of corporate bankruptcies has increased by 116 percent in the past 12 months. Society as a whole – everyone but the entrepreneurs in Erdogan’s periphery – is going through hard times. But the crisis hit hard the lower and middle classes loyal to Erdogan. Erdogan sees his base eroding due to the crisis and is trying to keep his voters in line, for example by creating imaginary enemies, using nationalist or Islamist rhetoric, or intensifying polarizing rhetoric. But despite all his efforts, he did not succeed in stopping the downturn.

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Erdogan knows that given the situation he will not be able to win the next elections in 2023. It is also clear without a doubt that there is nothing left to bring victory home. It seemed that increasing his voice ability was hardly possible. In the event that he cannot win, he will do everything in his power to cause him to lose the competition. To this end, he is doing his best to dismantle the electoral alliance of the opposition. For example, he is trying to alienate the Kurds, who supported the opposition bloc from abroad in the 2019 local elections. At that time, Erdogan had suspended the peace process with the PKK and allied with the ultranationalist Nationalist Movement Party, and now he is visiting Diyarbakir, the symbolic Kurdish city. As if he had not finished the peace process, he referred to the visit to Diyarbakir with the phrase “the Kurdish question,” with which he gave the first indication of the de-escalation process: “What we said in 2005, that is exactly what we are in . . .”

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