Source: Asia Times
Make no mistake, the US is warning of a regime change in Turkey. The wheel has turned full circle for Erdogan.
He was the darling of the West in the nineties when he took on Turkey’s Kemalists, riding the wings of “moderate Islam.”
The dismantling of Kemalist state wedded to militant nationalism was expected to make Turkey more amenable to western influence. So, the West hailed him as a role model for the New Middle East – a democratically elected Islamist serving western geopolitical interests.
The first shock came in 2003 when Turkey’s Islamist government refused to join the US-led invasion of Iraq. Turkish-American relations never quite recovered after that.
One thing led to another – and, a second turning point came in January 2009 when Erdogan publicly clashed with then Israeli President Shimon Peres over Gaza at a Davos panel, walking off the stage after an angry exchange in front of cameras.
The Turkish-Israeli relationship, which used to be a quasi-alliance, fractured even as Erdogan began supporting Hamas and sponsoring the Muslim Brotherhood. This hurt US interests very much, since the Turkish-Israeli axis was crucial to American strategies in the Middle East.