October 25, 2019

GOING… GOING… Turkey May Go the Way of Venezuela.

Mr. Erdogan wrongly assumes that the cunning and aggression that brought him political success internally will also work internationally. This explains his unleashing thugs on the streets of Washington, abducting Turkish citizens accused of coup plotting from multiple countries, attempting to smuggle dual-use materials to Gaza, illegally drilling for natural gas in Cypriot waters, and shooting down a Russian jet fighter, among other bellicose actions.

Mr. Erdogan’s foreign-policy ineptitude has alienated other governments. Europeans seethe when he threatens to send 3.6 million displaced Syrians their way. Israelis despise him for a vitriolic anti-Zionism that compares them to Nazis. Egypt’s president hates Mr. Erdogan’s backing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Erdogan’s abject apologies haven’t compensated for shooting down the Russian jet. China hasn’t forgotten Mr. Erdogan’s accusing it of genocide against the Uighurs, despite his silence now.

When the candidate from Mr. Erdogan’s AKP party twice lost the Istanbul mayor’s race this year, most analysts saw this as a “political earthquake” and a “stunning blow” to Mr. Erdogan, but he remains as dominant and dangerous as ever. A ruthless ideologue, his continued rule could bring to Turkey the political repression, economic collapse, hunger and mass emigration that plague Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela.

There’s a lot of ruin in a nation, true, but Erdogan has been at it for a long time.

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