Re: Turkey (11/05/22 17:45:57)
"Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, like Erdogan, has taken on an outsized diplomatic role to try to mediate an end to the Russia-Ukraine war.
In the past, such a contest would have pushed Erdogan to a kind of one-upmanship, given the mostly miserable state of Israel-Turkey ties over the past decade.
Not this time.
"Jerusalem and Ankara are even believed to be coordinating their moves," regarding Russia-Ukraine mediation, scoops Ben Caspit. "This reversal stems from the major detente in their relationship since last summer, which peaked with the visit March 9 by President Isaac Herzog to Ankara and Istanbul. Erdogan pulled out all the stops in welcoming Herzog, publicly abandoning the comfort zone from which he used Israel as a punching bag whenever the need arose to firm up his political base. Judging by his statements, he is focusing, instead, on his country’s strategic geopolitical interests in light of major regional and international developments. In this arena, Ankara’s positions are far closer to Jerusalem these days than they are to many other capitals."
Turkey and Israel have appointed a high-level team to "iron out difference," Caspit reports, although the prospect of Israeli natural gas going through Turkey, which Erdogan would prefer, is unlikely. The current plan is for Israel to work though Egypt for gas exports.
No easy path for gas via Turkey
While the export of Israeli natural gas though Turkey is a long shot at best, Ankara is also exploring other exporters to position Turkey as an energy hub.
The European Union needs an alternative to Russia, on which it depends for 40% of its gas imports.
There has been some speculation that Turkey could be the bridge for an alternative route for Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to bring gas to Europe, but in each case, there are more questions than answers, as David Byrne breaks down the options for Turkey and Europe.
It’s the economy … and it's getting worse
For Erdogan, it’s ultimately all about staying in power, with general elections 15 months away, in June 2023.
Turkey’s economic crisis is his greatest political liability, and it is likely to get worse.
"Economic instability has only grown since Erdogan assumed sweeping executive powers in 2018," explains Mustafa Sonmez. "Inflation stands out as the gravest problem, having soared to 54.4% in February. "
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