Skip to Content

President Erdogan and President Putin. Picture: Kremlin/ CC-BY 4.0

Is Erdogan blackmailing Europe again?

On March 5, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning to visit Istanbul. There she will talk about the situation in Syria together with the presidents of Turkey, Russia and France.

Published: February 28, 2020, 9:19 am

    Read more

    Turkish and Russian troops are stationed directly in Syria, with French special forces also on the ground. There is therefore no doubt that questions of military security in Syria are important for these countries.

    But what does the German Chancellor have to do with this, since her major problems lie at home in Germany? Foreign analysts agree: Against the background of domestic political defeats, the German Chancellor is trying to present herself as an influential international actor and diplomat – but at what price?

    On February 20, a spokesperson for the German government said that Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had contacted Russian President Vladimir Putin to express their concern about the humanitarian situation in the Syrian region of the Idlib.

    The two heads of government thus effectively sided with the Turkish President, who has been demanding for several weeks that Russia stop the Syrian armed forces in the Idlib region. For several months now, the Syrian army has been attacking the jihadist positions in this province. Idlib is considered the last stronghold of the Islamists in Syria.

    But Italy is increasingly dissatisfied with Erdogan’s policy. Rome is outraged that Erdogan is not abiding by agreements in Syria – the Turkish ambassador in Rome has been summoned to the Italian Foreign Ministry, where he was told forthwith that such unilateral decisions were “unacceptable”.

    The former Italian Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, is also dissatisfied with Erdogan’s policy of active support for the radical Sunni Muslim Brotherhood abroad, which has been leading to the Islamisation and radicalisation of Europe – mainly because of uncontrolled mass migration.

    Salvini described Erdogan as president of a bloody and Islamic regime. In October last year, Salvini said that the European Union should withdraw funding from Turkey immediately in order not to further promote Erdogan’s crimes.

    Meanwhile, the Libyan government under ruler Fayiz Sarraj refuses to stem the flow of African migrants on its territory, preferring to “resettle” Africans to Europe. This was openly stated by the Libyan Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha during a meeting with the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Tripoli: “The idea of settling immigrants, like all other issues concerning Libyan sovereignty, is rejected and not accepted by the Libyans.”

    Due to the insecurity and chaos in Libya after its total collapse in 2011, the North African country became the preferred transit country for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

    According to the “International Organization for Migration” (IOM), there are currently over 600 000 illegal immigrants in Libya who want to enter Europe.

    Originally Italy supported the Libyan government under Sarraj, but in view of recent developments, the Italian government has been trying to play on two fronts: It is increasingly disappointed with Sarraj´s government and is inclined to support General Khalifa Haftar, Sarraj´s militarily successful challenger in Libya.

    However, Italy continues to seek dialogue with the Sarraj government. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio noted: “Italy will play a decisive role in any European decision. No one knows Libya like we do, no one knows it like Italy several hundred kilometers from its shores. There is a danger of terrorism that should not be underestimated – countries that ignore peace and continue to arm the parties on the ground. We cannot accept this.”

    carstenfromm@freewestmedia.com

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Putin bravely dons hazmat suit to visit Covid-19 patients in Moscow

    MoscowPresident Vladimir Putin donned a yellow hazmat suit to explain to the public the emergency measures taken by the Russian government.

    Italian infections on the rise again despite curfews

    RomeAfter a few days of decline, the number of new cases in Italy have increased again. Wednesday's rise in the number of dead were 683, while on Tuesday the rise was 743. The number of confirmed cases in the US has however surpassed China and Italy to become the largest outbreak in the world.

    How the East fights against the Coronavirus

    MoscowEurope currently appears to be drowning in chaos and dysfunction when it comes to the fight against the Coronavirus. But how is Russia handling the challenge right now?

    Italy faces new emergency as it runs out of disinfectants

    RomeIt will no longer be possible to disinfect hospitals, ambulances, public transport and schools. The League has urged the EU to step in. "The government and Europe must intervene as soon as possible."

    Immigrants revolt against confinement in France, Germany

    ParisWhile drastic containment measures came into effect on March 17 at noon in France, carelessness and incivility persist in the immigrant districts of Paris. The police dispatched on the spot are exasperated with the inhabitants.

    Famous virologist explains risky ‘logic’ of herd immunity

    A virologist twice nominated for the Nobel Prize explains the British strategy of "herd immunity" claiming it may have a logical explanation, but is still too risky.

    Italian specialist: Three diseases that invite risk faced with the Coronavirus

    RomeIt seems that there are no more doubts since the data are clear: The mortality from Covid-19 is higher "for hypertensive patients, patients with cardiac arrhythmias, diabetics and patients with cardiovascular diseases".

    Dutch research team first to discover Covid-19 antibodies

    RotterdamThe first drug capable of attacking and neutralizing the Coronavirus could be ready for experimentation after a group of Dutch researchers discovered an antibody.

    Italy asks for more respirators but EU countries refuse

    BrusselsIn the teleconference between the 27 health ministers, Italy raised the alarm. But none of the "allies" responded.

    Muslim Brotherhood takes root in the Netherlands

    The HagueThe Rotterdam mosque De Middenweg and the Amsterdam Blue Mosque are in the grip of the Muslim Brotherhood. This was the message from the terror expert and investigator Ronald Sandee this week during his testimony in the Dutch lower house of parliament on unwanted foreign influence in Islamic institutions.

    Go to archive