Following CBS’s transmission last night of a somewhat negative, almost hostile, appraisal of Erdogan, billed though as an “interview” with him, former Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu appeared on Al Jazeera English’s “newsgrid” commencing 3pmGMT today, referencing especially Aleppo. Meanwhile, Erdogan himself has made a fiery speech in Istanbul at the 62nd annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly today, the final day of the session, condemning the UN Security Council, the EU’s approach to terrorism and calling for a Syrian no-fly zone… which of course he knows full well will not be delivered, at any rate by the US. Various links covering that speech follow:
And no doubt there will be more, maybe a video. Both Turkey and Russia are sitting on gigantic, separate fences, as we speak, Erdogan with one foot in Nato, the other not in it, Russia with one foot in Assad’s camp, the other in cloudy territory wherein she seeks a way to get rid of him. If true, both Russia and Erdogan have a shared objective: significant influence, effectively control, in Syria at Assad’s expense, and thus an end to the worst fighting, rendering them peacemakers. If this was not so, Russia would have frustrated Euphrates Shield long ago, if not directly bombed the Turkish contingent. As it is, it is more likely the Americans who are engaged in blunting Erdogan, both in the media and on the ground. He could upstage Obama very severely, thus defining that presidency more bleakly than some powerful elements in the US would tolerate.