Erdoğan’s desire is to turn Turkey into a military power - analysis

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has turned Turkey from a peaceful country with exciting economic ambitions, to a military power, but his ambitions are dependent on external funding, prominent journalist Abdulrahman Al-Rashed said in an op-ed in Asharq al-Awsat. 

Erdoğan plans to send Turkish troops to Libya to support the U.N.-recognised government in Tripoli, which, according to Rashed, can barely defend the capital. Libya officially requested military support from Turkey on Thursday, after Erdoğan announced the Turkish parliament would vote in early January on a resolution to send troops to Libya.

“Throughout Erdoğan’s presidency, Turkey has had a project to be the biggest regional power, but there have been more failures than victories,” Rashed said. 

The end of Muslim Brotherhood’s one-year rule in Egypt in 2013 and the removal of Sudan’s Omar Bashir this year, ending three decades of Muslim Brotherhood were among important setbacks for Erdoğan, Rashed said. 

Turkey’s efforts to become a regional power “will either end with Erdoğan’s departure from power, or the suspension of foreign funding of his regime,” Rashed said. 

“Erdoğan himself has not succeeded in any battle yet, and depends on external funding, mainly from Qatar, for most of his international activities,” he said, adding that if Qatar ceased funding the Turkish president, these activities would most likely end.

“Erdoğan has led Turkey from being a peaceful country with exciting economic ambitions to a military power project; although the last major war fought by the Turks was 100 years ago in the Balkans,” Rashed said, adding that the real opposition that threatens Erdoğan’s power was inside the country, not abroad.