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Erdogan and Putin Are Similar, and Bad

Reader comment on item: Two Bullies, Putin and Erdo─čan, Try Friendship

Submitted by Dave, Dec 27, 2016 at 15:41

Both Erdogan and Putin fight "terrorists" only as long as those "terrorists" threaten their own power: For Putin, the Chechens and other opponents of Russian rule from the Caucasus; for Erdogan, the Kurds or Gulen. They both style themselves as defenders of international order, but their actions are strictly self-serving and are harmful to Western interests and values.

The Turkish attacks against Kurds, a group which has become increasingly secular and pro-Western, extend beyond Turkey's borders and undermine an important ally in Syria and Iraq. While Kurdish terror attacks inside Turkey are indeed horrible, Erdogan has ignored Kurdish rights in favor of repression. His opposition to Gulen is obsessive and betrays his paranoia. In addition, Wikileaks has revealed his past aid to ISIS, something unsurprising for an Islamist.

Meanwhile, Putin's claim to anti-terror virtue is belied by Russia's strategic alliance with Iran and its proxies in Syria. Russia has sold its most advanced anti-aircraft radar to Iran to help protect Iran's arsenal and nuclear program. Russia's alliance with the world's leading sponsor of terrorism shows that the collapse of Communism has not changed her traditional anti-Western animus and trouble-making bent.
The best approach to both powers should be neutrality in their disputes and active containment.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (7) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Erdogan and Putin Are Similar, and Bad [205 words]DaveDec 27, 2016 15:41234932
UK Russia Relations. [35 words]Peter L. GriffithsDec 26, 2016 10:23234909
Two sides of the same coin [85 words]David VDec 25, 2016 22:49234891
Prospects of a Putin-Trump Bromance [650 words]RobertDec 23, 2016 19:54234858
Russian and Turkish aims in Syria [341 words]Michael SDec 23, 2016 16:19234854
Continuity from czars to Putin [39 words]Brian MeadowsDec 23, 2016 14:11234852
Shades of Molotov-Ribbentrop? [28 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
James GlucDec 23, 2016 13:40234849

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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