Name? Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Westphalian Identity? Turkish
Why is he in the news? Erdoğan is on fire after the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria through an airstrike yesterday. He is on the brink of war with Syria, accusing Russia of killing his soldiers, remembering he is part of NATO and threatening the EU with 3,6 million Syrian refugees. What a busy day.
Why do we care? Apart from the real news (Corona duh!), this is what the world of IR analysts is concerned about. Will Turkey and Syria go to war? Can Putin sell his S-400s? Will NATO invoke article 4? And are we facing another refugee crisis in Europe?
Why should you care? War is bad. Not only do soldiers die during the conflict, but also civilians (and the mortality rate of war is higher than the one of Covid-19…). This is why you should care. If you are European or in Europe at the moment and this is not enough reason for you to care, there are also 3,6 million Syrians waiting to live a humane and peaceful life…
Who else cares? Boris Johnson! Apart from becoming Dad once again, congrats, he did get Brexit done and does not need to be concerned about 3,6 million Syrians coming to the UK.
Any further comments? After Trump pulled out of Syria three months ago Putin reshuffled the pack of cards given to each player. Signing the memorandum of understanding between Erdogan and Putin in Sochi, allowed Erdogan to create a “humanitarian corridor” into Syria, placing the two million refugees fleeing from Assad’s troops in safety. For a while, it seemed like Putin had Erdogan and Assad under control but the next few days will prove whether this holds or not. The developments of the past few weeks are not too promising.