Erdogan continues ruthless mass purging of suspected opponents, numbers perhaps approaching 100,000 with no end to cleaning house in sight.
At the same time, he’s “promis(ing) big,” in return for maximum concessions possible from Russia, America and the EU.
Helmer appears right calling his strategy “a Turkish bluff.” Russia wants stability on its borders, cooperative relations with neighboring countries, and Erdogan ending his support for ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria.
His meeting with Erdogan accomplished none of the above. Helmer puts it this way:
“Turkey should stop supporting and fueling and providing safe haven and supplies for groups that threaten Russia to the North, threaten Syria to the south (and) Iraq to the east.”
It should stop supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups. It should give Russia “free passage through the so-called Turkish straits, between the Black Sea … Aegean Sea (and) Mediterranean” – the way it’s been for hundreds of years.
Erdogan should stop calling for Assad’s ouster. Despite talk of improved bilateral political and economic relations, nothing was consummated except agreement to keep talking.
Key is whether Erdogan will survive or be toppled by internal opposition fed up with how he’s running things.
As for relations with Russia, America and the EU, how they’ll play out remains highly uncertain.