Blackmailing Brussels, the Turkish president risks leading his country into a catastrophe of unprecedented scales that would likely result in the collapse of the state, Pipes, who is the president of the Middle East Forum, wrote in an opinion column for The Washington Times.
Under the state leader’s plan, Europe has to generously pay Ankara for its assistance in resolving the migrant crisis, allowing some 80 million Turkish citizens to cross into the EU without visas. Otherwise he threatens to clear barriers for migrants heading to Europe from Syria as well as from the entire Middle East.
But given that the Erdogan’s plan has proven effective at the exact moment of time, as Angela Merkel persuaded the leadership of the bloc to make concessions to Turkey, it doesn’t mean that the trend won’t be reversed one day, Pipes asserts.
“But this may well be a Pyrrhic victory, hurting Mr. Erdogan’s long-term interests,” he stressed. “In the first place, forcing Europeans to pretend they are not being blackmailed and to welcome Turkey with clenched teeth, creates a foul mood, further reducing, if not killing off, Turkish chances for membership.”
Above all, Ankara policies of supporting Sunni Islamists in Syria will eventually hurt Turkey that will face increased numbers of migrants arriving to the country. Pipes added that Turkish residents will not likely endorse the migrant influx. And that could lead to a social explosion within the state, he said.
"This is just the start. In combination, these errors by Mr. Erdogan point to more crises ahead,” Pipes wrote.