Tuesday (December 15th): Erdogan alone: Lost in NATO

Name? Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Westphalian identity? Turkish

Age? 66

Why is he in the news? Erdogan and the US have been at odds for more than a year over Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia. After months of delays by the Trump administration, Congress has passed a bipartisan law imposing sanctions on Turkey’s military and four top officials. 

Why do we care? This is the next escalation in a series of disagreements between the US (NATO) and its ally Turkey. The invasion of northern Syria, the involvement in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the search for natural gas in the Mediterranean. What a mess for Donald Trump to leave behind and what a wonderful conflict for Joe Biden and his administration to inherit. 

Why should you care? This does not affect you at all. The sanctions are against the Turkish military, not the population, the air defence system does not affect you nor the war of words between the politicians. But you should still be aware of the cracks in NATO caused by Erdogan.

Who else cares? Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. He stated, “This is, of course, another manifestation of an arrogant attitude towards international law, a manifestation of illegitimate, unilateral coercive measures that the United States has been using for many years, already decades, left and right.” Meanwhile, India and Saudi Arabia are said to receive the same defence systems from Russia soon. 

What Christmas character is Erdogan? Just like Kevin in Home Alone, Erdogan has largely been abandoned and forgotten by his family (NATO); left to fend for himself against nuisances who want to ruin his independent holidays. Lucky for Erdogan, he’s got his pal Donald Trump to give him simple directions while ignoring the bigger problems at hand; since you know, they aren’t his problems for much longer. Oh, and a Russian defence system…if only Kevin had one of those.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordination Communications