This pressure on Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish economy is unacceptable. Even if Europe does not like Erdogan and his policies, a deep crisis in Turkish society is the last thing that Europe needs.
In 1889, the Orient Express left the Gare de l'Est in Paris and finally arrived in Istanbul. Europeans were now able to go by train to the borders of the continent and get a glimpse into the East. Istanbul, since the time of the Silk Road, had been a geographical bridge between West and East. Until 1923, it was the crown jewel of empires and the center of political and spiritual power — from the eastern Roman Empire, Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk modernized it, and Turkey, in its greatness, became the gate through which the two worlds looked at and got to know each other.
Erdogan, rejected by the European Union, tried to find a new, more muscular path for Turkey, trying to make it an example for the Middle East and Central Asia. It was at that point that this important NATO country (with its second-largest army) appeared on a collision course with the United States. Ankara is against U.S. support of the Kurds, stands next to Iran and Qatar against Saudi Arabia and is the most solid voice confronting Israel in the region. None of this pleases Donald Trump. The case of the American pastor imprisoned in Turkey is a disguise for his real intentions: tame Erdogan.
The tactic is the same; economic asphyxiation, transformed into the quintessential political weapon of the Trump era. All the countries that challenge the "tweets" from the CEO of the White House should be aware. However, this pressure on Erdogan and the Turkish economy is unacceptable. Even if Europe does not like Erdogan and his policies, a deep crisis in Turkish society is the last thing that Europe needs. That would be a victory for a Trump that wants to destroy the European Union. But also, Europe cannot expect that a country with a ruined economy can be a barrier against terrorists while welcoming millions of refugees from Africa. Not to mention that Europe will need NATO's second-largest army. Disturbing Turkey is similar to playing with the arrival of an unpredictable tsunami. Europe cannot forget this.