Turkish President Erdogan announced over the weekend that he instructed his Foreign Minister to declare 10 Western ambassadors persona non grata after they meddled in his country’s foreign affairs by releasing a joint statement demanding the release of a jailed businessman who they consider to be a “political prisoner”. This is a huge diplomatic move that will reverberate for some time to come. It shows that Turkey has zero tolerance for such high-profile foreign meddling and is ready to accept the potential political consequences for expelling the Canadian, Danish, Dutch, Finish, French, German, New Zealander, Norwegian, Swedish, and US Ambassadors.
Those diplomats must have predicted that the Turkish President would react in a similar way to how he ultimately did. This implies that they planned their joint statement as a political provocation intended to catalyze a self-sustaining cycle of escalations between their countries and Turkey. The purpose of doing so is to prompt the pretext for intensifying their information warfare against him and potentially threatening sanctions, whether on that basis or a different one.
Those diplomats’ countries probably also wanted to manipulate their people’s perceptions about Turkey by making it seem like it’s “anti-Western” and “despotic”. The planned expulsion of so many ambassadors of such influential countries will certainly provoke a diplomatic crisis. It’ll likely generate incredibly hostile coverage by the Western Mainstream Media too. In other words, all of this is part of the US-led Hybrid War on Turkey which aims to punish the country for its increasingly independent foreign policy in recent years.
From the Turkish perspective, it’s unacceptable to let those diplomats meddle in such a blatant way, especially regarding a jailed figure who they consider to be a “political prisoner”. Simply denouncing them but declining to take any tangible action would have made President Erdogan look weak in everyone’s eyes unless they recanted their joint statement and apologized. He couldn’t afford to do that even though he must also have expected that Western pressure against him personally and his country more broadly will soon intensify as a result.
From a larger viewpoint, Turkey is setting an example for other non-Western nations to follow. Not all of them are as confident as that country is nor might they have the “Democratic Security” capabilities to adequately defend themselves from the predicted intensification of US-led Hybrid Wars against them under such pretexts, but they might still be inspired by this huge diplomatic move. After all, a pivotal pillar of Turkish foreign policy is to present itself as a model for others to emulate, especially in the Global South and most recently in Africa.
Looking forward, Turkish-Western relations will likely continue to deteriorate. There’s a chance that the ambassadors who Turkey plans to expel might eventually return or be replaced after some time, but that probably won’t happen in the near future if the country does indeed go through with what its leader just threatened. The overall impact of this trend will be to accelerate Turkey’s proactive engagement with its new non-Western partners, with a priority given to Russia and China.
That development could be manipulated through information warfare means to reinforce the false narrative that Turkey is “anti-Western” even though it would just be pragmatically reacting to Western political provocations. Nevertheless, closer Turkish ties with Russia and China could fuel the intensification of the US-led Hybrid War against it through geopolitical fearmongering about that country’s grand strategic intentions. For this reason, Ankara must brace itself for myriad destabilization attempts ahead of the summer 2023 elections.
It’s impossible to predict the exact forms that they could take at this moment, but they’ll likely be comprehensive and thus involve economic, information, political, and perhaps even security plots. President Erdogan is increasingly portrayed by the Western Mainstream Media as a so-called “rogue” leader, the misleading perception of which will be exploited to intensify the US-led Hybrid War. He’s unlikely to capitulate to their political demands related to his foreign policy but he’s likely still interested in bargaining with them.
Source: One World