Biden must not fall for Erdoğan's 'window-dressing' reforms – analysis

The administration of U.S-president elect Joe Biden should not fall for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s alleged shifting to accommodate the new pressures from the incoming U.S. administration, U.A.E. newspaper the National said on Saturday.

It would be mistake for Biden’s team to fall for Erdoğan’s reform window-dressing as a real basis for partnership, the article said, noting that Biden is dealing with an Erdoğan that  “has shed much of his political skin since the Democrats were last in power almost four years ago.’’

Earlier this month, Erdoğan announced far-reaching economic and judicial reforms aimed at stabilising the country’s legal situation and improving the investment climate. 

The announcement arrives as the Turkish economy has experienced a massive slump in 2020 with the lira plunging in value.

The ailing Turkish economy has robbed Erdoğan of “a narrative to present to a Democratic administration at a time when the internal record of his leadership will be far more closely scrutinised,’’ the National said.

The article pointed to Erdoğan’s policies in the eastern Mediterranean, where "Turkish exploration activity around Cyprus and in Greek waters is steadily weakening Nato,’’ and the Turkish president’s plans for a two-state solution in the divided island of Cyprus. 

Moreover, Ankara has an opportunistic and symbiotic relationship with Moscow, it said, which aims to reduce Nato allies' sphere of influence. 

As Biden begins to reconstruct U.S. relations with Europe and necessarily shores up Nato’s southern flank, the National said, the U.S.-president elect will "find Turkey's place in that alliance an increasingly uncomfortable problem.’’