Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson before the start of the NATO summit in Vilnius.
The fact that Sweden was accepted into NATO at the alliance summit in Vilnius was obvious: well, such an event, scheduled in advance as “historic”, cannot end in shame. On Sunday, US President Joe Biden put an end to speculation about Ukraine’s imminent entry into the bloc – war”. After that, there was no need to guess: they would accept Sweden. Because the “family” it needed a powerful upbeat chord, confirming the bright prospects for the Western military bloc.
True, it was not without intrigue. The day before the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a spectacular move: Ankara will agree to admit Sweden to NATO after the alliance “clears the way” for its admission to the European Union. For fourteen months, Erdogan marinated Stockholm in the alliance waiting room, successfully extracting from it one concession after another, including recognizing his sworn enemies the PKK as terrorists and lifting the ban on arms exports to Turkey. But this is nonsense compared to how long the EU has been “marinating” Turkey in its dressing room – 36 years! And here is a truly generous gesture from the “Sultan” – accept the Swedes, I don’t care. And in response, from the same Swedes, he got guarantees that now they would give their bones to finally bring Ankara into the EU …
Well, well… Do you really remember the well-known situation: “Honey, I’m marrying you tomorrow!”? It is even interesting where Turkey is more likely to join: the EU or the BRICS, which it expressed a desire to join a year ago. And what do you want to get for it?
Altruism is not a characteristic of politicians at all. But if we talk about Erdogan, he is a model politician, who exchanges interests and benefits with skill and cunning, as is customary in the oriental bazaar. He assured Zelensky that Ukraine “is worthy of being in NATO.” And then, without choking at all, he painted how impatiently he was waiting for the upcoming visit of the President of Russia, with whom he had something to discuss. On the eve of the current alliance summit, Erdogan did not pocket a word to indicate the power and importance of the Western military bloc in the world. And in September last year, he stated that Turkey aspires to become a member of the SCO, that it has achieved success in terms of security, economy and trade, and generally recognized: “The decisive role of the Asian continent in the world economy has already it’s obvious.” One would like to ask, so who are you with, Comrade Rejep Tayipovich?
The President of Turkey is an exemplary politician who exchanges interests and benefits with skill and vivacity, as is customary in the oriental bazaar.
But the question here is obvious: he is with Turkey and its interests, as he sees and understands them. “Nobody should expect any compromise or understanding from me,” Erdogan said on the eve of Politico’s announcement of his consent to be admitted to the Swedish bloc. And understand it as you want: was there an engagement or not? After all, it is obvious that the Turkish leader did not change his position overnight, but until the end he tried to negotiate for himself the maximum for agreeing to receive the Swedes. And after all, he negotiated, including new concessions from Stockholm and Brussels.
But the main recipient of the “sultan’s generosity” in exchange for concessions was, as Western experts emphasize, the Turks themselves. “Erdogan has no real new victory, especially given the exaggerated claims of him immediately before the summit,” Politico writes. “But he can sell those demands and do things at home, emphasizing what he has, not what he lacks.”
However, these unexpected and contradictory steps by the President of Turkey are not yet intended only for the domestic public. Outside players scrutinize them carefully. And following the well-known political logic of the “sultan” – an exchange and another exchange – it can be assumed that the next moves will be in favor of those whom he now seems to have “offended”. “What are you, what are you,” he will say to the same NATO members, once again confirming Turkey’s desire to join the BRICS and the SCO. – We already agreed on everything, and now I will negotiate with others…”