The unforced errors of Recep Tayyip Erdogan

It’s only weeks ago that we all celebrated Recep’s genius; presiding over a decade of stellar growth and development he was convincingly reelected, had made peace with the Kurds, was establishing energy deals with Iraqi Kurdistan, championed the cause of relatively moderate Sunnis versus the Wahhabi’s, Shia, Israel and Assad’s coalition. Was welcomed again in Europe and the US and was rebuilding ties with Israel especially in looking to buy natural gas from Israel. Here was a teflon statesman.

And then suddenly everything shifted and he has it all wrong. What on earth happened? He’s been wrong before when he embraced Gaddafi, Assad and the Iranian regime but he managed to reverse those rapproachments with style.

Can it be that he is afraid that he can see his own exit from the political arena on the horizon? Turkey hasn’t warmed to the idea of him becoming a powerful president. He has set a terrible precedent at Taksim. His embrace of the Egyptian Brotherhood was too hasty and too extreme. The carefully cultivated image of an inspired, worldly, Islamic democrat has vanished. I can only surmise that it is fear of his own position, fear of political irrelevance, which motivates him to make one unforced error after another. He wouldn’t be the first.