Erdogan attacks in all directions: US, EU, Italy…

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Presidential Palace handouts, via Reuters

Attack on everything unleashed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aiming arrows at the US, the European Union, and Italy.

CNN Greece, August 3 2016. Translated from Greek by Tom Winter

The reason for the Sultan’s new outbreak stems from investigations by the Italian authorities of his son, Bilal, for laundering “black” money. “The Italian judges should be dealing with the mafia, not with my son,” said the head of the Turkish state, while stressing that this action could undermine relations between the two countries.

For the record, Bilal Erdogan, eldest son of the President of Turkey, became a target of an investigation by the prosecutor of Bologna after a lawsuit filed against the Turkish businessman in February. This particular entrepreneur, an opponent of Erdogan in exile, has claimed that Bilal fled to Italy with “a very large sum of money” and a group of armed bodyguards with diplomatic passports.

“My son had to return to Bologna to complete his doctorate” but risks being arrested, said Erdogan, adding: “In this town they call me a dictator and they protest in favor of the PKK. Why did nobody intervene? This is the rule of law? His case could undermine our relations with Italy.”

The Italian prime minister, however, picked up the glove and replied to Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a succinct tweet: “In this country, judges act according to the laws and the Constitution, rather than according to the president of Turkey. It’s called “Rule of Law”, ” said Matteo Renzi.

Along with the dust-up with the Italian Prime Minister, Erdogan sent other arrows from his quiver, this time targeting the European Union on the subject of the issue of visas for Turkish citizens.

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If the visa regime for Turkish citizens who want to travel to the EU is not liberalized, Ankara will not respect the agreement on the refugees signed with Europe, the Turkish president asserted, and reiterated his accusations against the European Union, that they were in breach of the promises given under the Agreement on the refugee crisis concluded with Turkey, despite Ankara’s success in curbing irregular immigration flows.

However, the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier turned to a counterattack, characterizing it as absurd for Turkey to blackmail the EU with the “weapon”of the agreement on the refugees and thus get a liberalization of visa regime.

Nor did Recep Tayyip Erdogan spare the United States with his arrows, in regard to the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, whom he regards as the “brain” of the attempted coup a few days ago in Turkey. “What kind of strategic partners are the US when they don’t turn over Gulen after our request,” wondered the Turkish president speaking at an economic forum in the Presidential Palace.

Continuing his “fiery” speech, Recep Tayyip Erdogan complained that the script of the failed coup in Turkey was “written by the outside” while accusing the countries of the West of supporting terrorism as well as being the side of the coup.

“This coup is not just an event that was designed from the inside. The perpetrators in the country acted based on a script that was written from abroad,” said the head of the Turkish state, who accuses preacher Fethullah Gülen, in exile in the US, of orchestrating the effort of subversion.

Responding to criticism of extensive purges of the Turkish army, and other structures of the Turkish State after the failed coup attempt, Erdogan accused the West, asserting that they “support terrorism and take the side of the coup. Those who imagined they were our friends side with the coup and with terrorists,” he said.

He also argued that supporters of Gulen would attempt to put the armed forces back under their control if there were not a radical restructuring, after the attempted coup, which cost the country approximately 90 bn. euros.

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