Recent German sanctions against Turkey have been reported by the German press, citing a difficult partner and the question of whether Ankara is still the right partner in NATO.
“A difficult partner,” reads a comment from the Süddeutsche Zeitung. As the Munich newspaper points out, “the question is whether Turkey is still the right partner in NATO. Yes, it has a large army. In addition, a Muslim country is important to the Alliance, as it opens up prospects for influence in the Middle East and Africa. “However, a NATO member state that supplies Russia with crucial weapons and threatens Greece due to border disputes – also a NATO partner – is a difficult partner, to put it in a friendly way.”
The tones are rising towards Turkey
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) notes in its analysis that “even before Donald Trump left the White House, the tone towards Turkey was rising. Maryland Democratic senator Chris Van Hollen says Turkey is at a crossroads and must choose whether to be a credible NATO partner or to do it alone. Even Foreign Minister Pompeo began to distance himself from Turkey. On his last tour of the region, he spoke with the governments of Athens and Nicosia, while in Istanbul he was only for a private visit. The US is expanding military cooperation with Greece, as opposed to Turkey.
The Pentagon is planning a military base in Alexandroupolis, near the border with Turkey. In addition, in 2021 Greece will increase military spending fivefold, reaching 2.5 billion euros, an amount that does not exceed one third of the Turkish defense budget. “
Sanctions against Erdogan are negligible
The economic review Handelsblatt addresses the issue of sanctions more broadly, considering that Ankara has no reason to be particularly concerned. “Recep Tayyip Erdogan can congratulate himself,” the statement said. His government has intervened militarily in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan.
The Turkish Navy protects drilling in sea areas claimed by Greece and Cyprus. The Turkish army buys missile systems from Russia. And for Erdogan, the only consequence was sanctions, which do not really concern him: banning individuals from entering, revoking some patents in the defense sector and freezing assets. This is the so-called punishment of the West for its NATO partner. “The Turkish economy and the financial sector are not affected.”
The Berlin-based Tageszeitung (TAZ) reports on Washington’s “soft sanctions” on Turkey. “Turkey reacted with apparent calm,” he said in a response from Istanbul. “Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu said the sanctions were a ‘serious mistake’, but also said the United States would be given time to correct the mistake.”