Turkey’s tap-on tap-off policy

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Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

The ability of Turkey to close the tap down to 5000 people a week soon after signing the deal with the EU can be taken as evidence that the tap was previously kept wide open. The reasons for this are multiple, but the EU interference in Turkey’s previous presidential election is probably one of them. The re-election of Erdogan with an absolute majority thanks to the concessions made by the EU as part of the deal – Merkel’s journey in Turkey just before the election was a massive boost for Erdogan’s statesmanship claim – could be taken as a confirmation of this. The tap policy on immigration is not Erdogan’s invention, a previous master of this art was Qaddafi, clearly lessons have been learned. But the rapid fall of Qaddafi from policeman of EU borders back to quintessential villain, may also provide a clue on how things may go with Erdogan. However, Turkey is not Libya, for history, geopolitical influence, population etc. so the outcome may be different.

 

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