Streetwise Professor

March 8, 2020

Erdoğan Harvests the Fruits of His Strategic Genius

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia,Turkey — cpirrong @ 6:20 pm

Apropos my earlier post on Erdoğan’s strategic brilliance, after Turkey’s army inflicted some serious damage on Assad’s armed forces, the Russians evidently made it clear that he would not be allowed to have his way in Idlib. So Erdoğan scuttled to Moscow, and emerged with a ceasefire agreement (not that he wanted one) which basically brought his campaign to a screeching halt.

The optics tell all. The fact that Erdo had to go to Moscow for one thing. But it was worse than that. Putin really rubbed the would-be sultan’s nose in it.

The same week a delegation from Zimbabwe–yes, Zimbabwe–visited Putin in the Kremlin. The entire delegation was seated. There was no statuary in sight.

When the Turkish delegation visited, all except Erdoğan were forced to stand. In front of a statue of Catherine the Great, no less, which had been moved into the room specifically for the Turkish delegation.

Catherine, of course, waged war against the Ottomans during her entire reign, and seized vast territories from them. Catherine epitomizes Russian domination of Turkey. As Russians well know–as do Turks.

After leaving the Turks to shuffle cravenly before Catherine’s bronze gaze for a few moments, Putin beckoned them to approach with a dismissive wave of his fingers, like he was calling his dogs. He was trying to humiliate. He succeeded.

Erdoğan has been flailing desperately for US and European support to counter Russia. Trump acknowledged that Turkey and Syria were fighting, but said he didn’t care.

In so many words: You’re on your own, Erdo! You made your bed with Putin, hope you stocked up on the KY.

The refugee gambit has only infuriated the Europeans. Not as if they would be willing to risk confronting Russia anyways.

Yes. Quite the genius Erdo is. Quite the genius.

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  1. Popcorn please. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Just hoping the Army feels betrayed and finds some of Kemal Pasha’s backbone.

    Comment by sotosy1 — March 10, 2020 @ 2:49 pm

  2. @sotosy1–Alas, Erdo neutered the military, precisely because he feared that it would assume its former role of ousting (and sometimes hanging) politicians of an Islamic bent.

    I have a good friend whose father was a leader in the 27 May, 1960 coup. His father is rolling in his grave.

    Comment by cpirrong — March 10, 2020 @ 7:15 pm

  3. Balls can grow back, oddly enough. While a coup in the old scale may not be possibible, it only takes some very angry junior officers with loyal followers to make a big stink if planned and begin in secret.

    Comment by Sotos y1 — March 11, 2020 @ 10:06 am

  4. @Sotos y1–Apropos your point about junior officers, my friends father was a captain, and was in charge of the coup in Istanbul. One of his main tasks (after seizing the radio station) was to round up all the imams. Interestingly, like most of his fellows, he was considered dangerous after the coup. He was not assigned to Ankara, even though for most career officers they had an Ankara tour every couple of years. He was in Ankara only on his last tour before retirement. The rest of the time, on the marches of Turkey. Iskanderun, Diyarbakir, Edirne. The closest to Ankara he got was Konya, but there he had his hands full with Islamists, Konya being a very Islamic city. Ataturk hated the place so much he had his statue placed outside of town with his back facing the city. `

    Comment by cpirrong — March 11, 2020 @ 3:11 pm

  5. Thanks. Very interesting.

    Comment by Sotosy1 — March 12, 2020 @ 4:13 pm

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