Turkey’s economy has been in increasingly difficult straits for months, especially since the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
In recent weeks a dramatic escalation of tension around Turkish oil drilling rig presence in the disputed Exclusive Enterprise Zone surrounding EU member state Cyprus is taking place. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is claiming that Turkey has the right to drill not only in the waters off of Northern Cyprus, but also in waters far from there where Greek Cyprus has claimed rights. The actions, moving Turkish oil and gas drilling platforms into the waters, is creating a dramatic new clash in the energy-rich Eastern Mediterranean. The line-up of actors makes for a political Molotov cocktail of clashing interests that potentially pits not only Turkey against Cyprus and Greece, but also Israel and the USA, with Russia and China watching with keen interest. .
The European Union has suspended financial assistance to Turkey and interrupted the dialogue at the highest level. In a dispute over gas, the EU sided with the Greeks.
After the start of S-400 deliveries to Turkey, a respected German professor, international and foreign policy analyst Thomas Jäger plainly states:
Since 2017, politicians and experts have been debating whether Turkey will buy Russian air defense systems despite US threats. Today, all these arguments have broken about the harsh reality.
The United States suspended Turkish pilots from training on F-35 fighter jets and demanded that they close the S-400 deal by the end of July.
The State Department demanded that by the end of the first week of June, Turkey canceled the S-400 deal with Russia. Will Recep Erdogan withstand the pressure of Washington?
For the second time in recent years, a great power has been putting forward an ultimatum to the President of Turkey. This time, he is asked to choose between NATO and Russia.