To promote Erdoğan call for his resignation
Eric Edelman, one of the former U.S. ambassadors to Ankara, never liked this country. My recollection of him while I was working as a diplomatic reporter in Ankara was that he had this bullying attitude coupled with a condescending look. He did not understand the dynamics of Turkey, and ended up no liking it.
I was not a journalist when Morton Abramowitz, another former U.S. ambassador, served in Turkey, but I know he left a better legacy behind.
So it was rather surprising to see Abramowitz join Edelman in penning an article calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to reform or resign.
This call is like a bad joke. In fact, I find it utterly stupid, more absurd than the absurdities voiced by pro-Erdoğan columnists.
The call from two former U.S. ambassadors for Erdoğan to resign will only serve to consolidate the love and devotion for Erdoğan among his constituency. As he can no longer promise a positive agenda, Erdoğan consolidates his power by portraying a world where he is challenged by those who do not wish the Muslim world well.
So this call to resign will end up increasing his ratings by several points.
Was that the intended outcome of the Edelman/Abramowitz duo?
Whatever their initial intentions were, I am sure Erdoğan’s dozen chief advisors are busy making wild speculations about it. It is worth mentioning this call comes just a few days ahead of Erdoğan’s visit to the United States.
And interestingly, it coincides with the publication of the interview in the Atlantic where U.S. President Barack Obama was said to think of Erdoğan as a “failure and an authoritarian.”
While this is not in direct quotes, no one would question its authenticity.
Needless to say, there are few foreign leaders left in the world who like Erdoğan, with only a few exceptions.
European leaders for instance prefer to work with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. While they equally resent his Islamist agenda and populist rhetoric, they still find him more of a reconcilable interlocutor than Erdoğan.
European leaders still seek to see Erdoğan, since they are aware that nothing can be realized unless he is in the picture, yet that does not change their preference for Davutoğlu. The EU-Turkey refugee deal was hammered out with Davutoğlu, for instance.
At any rate, knowing the fact that the two are not getting along very well, perhaps it might not be so surprising to see certain circles trying to widen their divide.