Who will Erdoğan's new allies be?
Erdoğan and Putin are due to meet in Moscow at the beginning of August, according to media reports. During the failed coup in Turkey the Russian president was the first head of state to show solidarity with Ankara. Commentators see Turkey turning its back ever more firmly on Europe and fear a new Moscow-Ankara axis.
Moscow and Ankara set to join forces?
Turkey is moving away from Europe in giant strides, La Croix concludes:
“If the rift with the Europeans gets any deeper, there will be more than one loser. In the wars that are spreading on its borders with Syria and Iraq, Turkey has played a key - if sometimes unclear - role. If the country continues to move backwards it will hardly be able to serve as a bridge between Orient and Occident. The strongest implications of this will be military, and concern in particular the [Nato] airbase in İncirlik. The Russians - in spite of recent tensions between the two countries - are already preparing to fill this gap. Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are meeting in Moscow at the beginning of August. The two are so similar that they just might be capable of joining forces.”
Turkey is entering the Russia sphere of influence
Moscow is increasingly orienting itself towards Ankara, the weekly paper Maaleht believes:
“Ankara is harking back to the times when the curved swords of the Arabs held sway. Religion is directly interlinking itself with power. This is a dangerous trend, a move backwards in time. … If we look closely at the obvious rapprochement between Russian and Turkey in recent months it seems as if Russia wants to extend its influence beyond Syria and into Turkey, which is distancing itself from the EU. Goodbye, Turkey! Europe is about to lose another state to Russian influence.”
New struggle for religious supremacy
Religion will be the motor powering Erdoğan's new state, and it will determine foreign policy, predicts Hassan Abu Talib in the Egyptian daily Al-Watan:
“The powers of political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood for example or the armed groups in Syria will continue to receive substantial backing from Erdoğan. The power struggle with Iran for regional hegemony will increase in intensity. A new equilibrium also needs to be established with the third religious power in the region, Saudi Arabia. We can expect more tensions across the Middle East. ... Turkey will never join the EU. That dream is now over. The Europeans will not accept into their ranks a state with a religious constitution that reintroduces the death penalty.”
Erdoğan does not need to fear Washington
Erdoğan's repressive reaction to the attempted coup will not elicit any perceptible reprisals from across the Atlantic, the US magazine Foreign Policy suspects:
“A look back at the United States' relationship with Turkey over the last half-century makes it clear that democracy is most definitely not a requirement for NATO membership. Whatever Obama said Friday night, history suggests that, come Saturday morning, Washington would have found a way to work with whoever emerged the winner in Ankara. With a vengeful Erdoğan now once again at the helm, a stormy period in US-Turkish relations is almost certain. But history gives Turkey's president little reason to fear that Washington will take a firm stand on democracy so long as U.S. interests in the region remain dependent on his country's cooperation.”