How dangerous is Erdogan

Erdogan suddenly ensnares the EU : Dangerously flattering words from Ankara

Shortly before the EU's decision on sanctions against Turkey, there is another row over the attempted search of a Turkish freighter for weapons destined for Libya. Protests from Ankara prevented Bundeswehr soldiers from the European Irini mission from inspecting the ship.

It is not known whether armaments were actually on board. But the incident was the third time Turkey resisted European inspections at sea. This strengthens the camp of those EU countries that are calling for a tough line against Ankara at the summit on December 10th and 11th.

In the past few days, the Turkish President Recep Erdogan had committed himself to Europe several times. The future of his country lies in Europe, he said. But the EU should not be fooled by this.

Erdogan gives up the reformer because he wants to avoid sanctions. So he wants to prevent the collapse of the economy and secure his power. The Turkish economic crisis gives the EU a lever with which it can effectively exert pressure on Erdogan - Europe should also seize this opportunity.

Europe should decide on sanctions against Turkey

Erdogan's conciliatory messages to Europe are tactics and not an expression of fundamental change. The Turkish government sees Europe as a paper tiger incapable of taking joint and decisive steps.

The EU should prove to Turkey that this impression is wrong. It would therefore be best if the EU decided on the planned sanctions against Turkey in December and made their implementation dependent on concrete steps taken by Turkey.

In this way, Europe could regain influence over Ankara. But if the EU can be fobbed off with a few symbolic gestures by Turkey, it is only a matter of time before the next crisis breaks out - and Europe is left with no influence. Turkey needs the EU, its largest trading partner, more than ever.

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