Why Biden visited Turkey
Turkey is a great country with its history, culture, economy, potentials and of course people. Even at its worst periods in history, this country has always been one of the biggest countries in its region as well as in world politics.
Turkish economy has been rather strong, despite some minor setbacks such as a gigantic current account deficit and constant warnings by some economics pundits about a probable spillover effect of the crisis gripping Europe for some time. Even the most stringent opponents of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) expect some 3-4 percent growth for Turkish economy at a time when alarm bells are ringing high for European economies.
Despite all the criticisms regarding overall democratic deficiencies, allegations of wild police state applications as well as complaints on the narrowing sphere of freedom of speech and definitely the rampant autocratic tendencies in governance, it has to be underlined that in economics Turkey has been doing great for the past decade.
The economic success might partly be attributed to the AKP government’s compliance with the economic program it inherited from the preceding three-way coalition government, or to the fact that for most of the past ten years there was an enlarging global economy. We may even go to the extent of conspiracy theories and talk about billions of dollars alleged to have been poured into Turkey unregistered from the Arab world. What may happen the moment we no longer can borrow from tomorrow, or the moment the government can no longer manage to introduce disguised taxes – predominantly indirect and wild consumption taxes – or when we start feeling the “spillover effect” of the crisis in Europe?
At a time when many American pundits started discussing that perhaps Barrack Obama has no other option but to use war-politics in order to overcome the drastic erosion of his public support and acquire the prospect of a second term in the White House, a very high level visitor stopped by Ankara.
Vice President Joe Biden’s Ankara trip cannot of course be considered separately from President Obama having “intimate” relations with Premier Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (that’s how Obama recently described his relations with Erdoğan) and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu talking on the phone and face to face so frequently with Hillary Clinton (who I have heard might be preparing step down soon in order to assume the World Bank top seat). Or, nor can we ignore the Iran, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Particularly, with Iran going berserk and engaging in all those ridiculous acts against the British, while Bashar al-Assad of Syria has been so successfully providing every possible alibi for an operation on his country, there are more than enough reasons to become panicked about Biden’s trip to Ankara and Istanbul. Worse, if this country “with some creative encouragement” has been so deeply involved in nourishing politically – and hopefully not militarily – the opposition to al-Assad, prospects indeed might not be bright at all.
Still, we may turn a blind eye to all these and talk about how strong Biden supported freedoms, what great democratic ideals he voiced and how strongly he warned Turkish leaders that Internet censorship is not a wise idea.
Why do you think Biden visited Turkey?