Did Turkey vote for Christmas?

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Steve3007
Posts: 4901
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes
Location: UK

Did Turkey vote for Christmas?

Post by Steve3007 » August 11th, 2018, 3:37 am

Recently the Turkish people voted to give their president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, "sweeping new powers". So far, that doesn't seem to be going well. President Erdoğan appointed his son-in-law as finance minister and appears to have exerted pressure on the central bank not to raise interest rates. (Sound familiar?) This appears to have contributed to the collapse of the Turkish Lira.

Another contributor to Turkey's woes is the fallout from the 2016 coup attempt. The Turkish government has consistently claimed that Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, a religious leader and preacher and founder of the eponymous "Gülen movement", was behind it and wants him to be extradited from the US. They are holding a US Christian preacher, Andrew Brunson, ostensibly on criminal charges related to the coup attempt. But it seems pretty clear that he's viewed as a bargaining chip in their efforts to secure the extradition of Gülen. That doesn't seem to be working out very well. Securing the unconditional release of Brunson would play very well with US President Trump's evangelical Christian supporters and the overwhelming economic power of the US seems to mean that Trump could simply grind Turkey down towards economic disaster until Erdoğan capitulates. But unconditional capitulation doesn't tend to be very healthy for "strongman" leaders like Erdoğan. It indicates weakness.

Will Trump give Erdoğan an out? Will he extradite Gülen to allow Erdoğan to save face and claim a victory? Or will Trump give Erdoğan something else in exchange for the Pastor so he doesn't have to look as though he's been whipped? Or will he use the apparently unassailable economic power of the US to get what he wants, regardless of the cost to Turkey?

Interesting times for the Turks.

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