A senior politician from Germany’s Left Party has warned against doing “dirty deals” with Turkey’s President Erdogan, labeling him a “Godfather of terrorism”.
Interviewed in Der Spiegel, Sahra Wagenknecht accused Turkey’s President Erdogan (pictured) of tacitly supporting Islamic State terrorism and refusing to secure the Turkish border with war-torn Syria despite the recent deal struck with the European Union (EU). According to the leading Left Party politician, courting him in such circumstances is “shabby”.
Despite the EU pledging to give Turkey €3 billion and a fastracked route to membership of the bloc in return for helping alleviate Europe’s migrant crisis, Ms. Wagenknecht says Turkey’s border with Islamic State is still open.
Pointing out that President Erdogan is happy to silence political opposition and persecute journalists, she also condemned him on other fronts adding:
“Every night a hundred fully-armed jihadists cross over on their way to war. While Erdogan plays the role of the godfather of terrorism, entering into dirty deals with him should be prohibited.”
President Erdogan’s Turkey was not the only target for Ms. Wagenknecht’s concern. She predicts trouble ahead for the international anti-Islamic State coalition in Syria. Warning escalation is a very real possibility, she explained:
“15 countries are now fighting in Syria, sometimes together, sometimes side by side, sometimes against each other. There is no common strategy. There isn’t even agreement on whether the fight against “Islamic State” really is the most important goal. Turkey clearly has other priorities. Germany is participating in a war, the course of which no one really controls.”
Ms. Wagenknecht believes the West’s war strategy is flawed:
“It is crucial to starve Islamic State of new fighters, weapons and money. In other words, Erdogan has to be put under pressure to finally end his covert terrorist support and close the Turkish border to Islamic State. The same goes for Saudi Arabia, whose richest families generously finance the Islamic State.
“If Islamic State no longer receives money, its internal power base will erode. Then the armies of these countries can eventually liberate occupied parts.
“Military intervention by the West on the other hand helps Islamic State. Bombings causes many civilian casualties. This nourishes the hatred.”
In part Ms. Wagenknecht blames the U.S. for the situation in Turkey, claiming American foreign policy aimed at destabilising the Assad regime boosted Islamic State. She advocates leaving the solution to Syrians:
“Of course, Assad is a dictator, but it is up to the Syrian people and not the Americans, who rules in Damascus.”