Turkey against the rest of the world

Every week, International mail explains his editorial choices and the debates they sometimes generate within the editorial staff. This week, in view of the latest events in Nagorno-Karabakh (where Ankara supports Azerbaijan), it is Turkey that we have chosen to highlight. We are trying to decipher why the Erdogan regime is engaged on all fronts. Two other major issues can be found in this issue: a portrait of Thai youth and twenty special pages on new (digital) nomads, on the occasion of the Expat Forum to be held on November 4.

It is a very rich number that we offer you this week, with three majesty dossiers, which we generally avoid, but international news and our own news have led us to this particular construction of the weekly.
International news to begin with, with two major events in recent weeks. First, the resumption of clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenians and Azeris – and, before that, the rise of tensions in the Aegean Sea, in Libya … We have, in previous issues, addressed these crises separately. It seemed interesting this time to broaden our vision and to focus on the protagonist common to all these conflicts: Turkey. Ankara, which affirmed in 2004 the principle of “zero problem with neighbors” *, is, sixteen years later, in conflict with just about everyone.

“The coming to power in the early 2000s of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), created by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been, curiously, a powerful engine for Europeanization ”, writes the Russian political scientist Fyodor Loukianov in Rossia in Globalnoï Politiké. But, at one point, Ankara came to the (not unfounded) conclusion that theEU was not ready to accept Turkey into its ranks. ” And if until 2016 relations with Turkey were rather cordial, explains another political scientist, Greek himself, in I Kathimerini, “Erdogan has changed a lot since the failed coup against him in 2016”.

By supporting Azerbaijan today in the conflict between it and Armenia, the Turkish president intends to show that he is “the boss” in the region. “It is surely no coincidence that Ankara finds itself at the forefront of this conflict at a time when Turkey is overactive in its regional environment, trying to move the lines everywhere at the same time”, written L’Orient-Le Jour at the opening of this file.

Erdogan’s dream of “Resuscitate the Ottoman Empire”, as wrote L’Orient-Le Jour in another article, however, risks clashing with Russian interests in the Caucasus and running up against Turkey’s own internal situation. “Militarily, the country is perhaps stronger than ever, but this is only a subterfuge to overcompensate a torn and disenchanted society”, recently explained the Israeli daily Ha’Aretz.

It is to better understand what Turkey is looking for and the answers that Europe, Russia and China (Ankara’s last ally, along with Qatar) can bring it that we have put together this very geopolitical dossier. By crossing sources, giving the floor to pro-Erdogan Turkish newspapers, multiplying points of view, reviewing the recent pass of arms between Macron and Erdogan …

Another international news item, to which we are dedicating seven pages in this issue, is Thailand, where the under-30s have been increasing the number of demonstrations since this summer to demand constitutional reforms and the end of authoritarianism. Four years after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej who, despite seventy years of reign (1946-2016), still aroused immense popularity and respect, the monarchy no longer enjoys the same credit. King Vajiralongkorn crystallizes discontent around what he is, what he does, what he represents. This portrait of a rebellious youth can be found in our 360 ° pages.

Finally, and this is our own news, the subject of our third dossier: the Expat Forum that International mail organizes each year for candidates for expatriation and qui will be held on November 4 at the auditorium of Le Monde, in Paris, and live on Facebook and YouTube. Five years ago, we created a section on our Courrier Expat website dedicated to expatriates, who represent a significant part of our readership. You will find practical advice, but also articles translated from foreign languages ​​on life in Canada, Portugal … following the principles of International mail : life elsewhere, seen by the foreign press. This year, due to the pandemic, going abroad has become more complex. However, many are still making this choice, with a trend that is confirmed: digital nomadism, to which we are dedicating these special Expat pages.

Good reading !

Claire Carrard

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