Erdogan Banking on Tough Talk to Generate Support

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started talking about Turkey’s borders, hinting they should be shifted outwards a bit. In Syria and Iraq, his army is involved in wars over territory once ruled from Istanbul. Maps of a Greater Turkey have circulated.

That has led to speculation that Erdogan, fresh from surviving an attempted coup, wants to crown his 14-year rule in Turkey by annexing chunks of its neighbors. But analysts see a more mundane domestic calculation behind the rhetoric: they say the president is really trying to expand his own powers, not his country’s frontiers.

Erdogan still hankers after making his office the focus of all power in Turkey, instead of the largely ceremonial post it was before he took over — and, on paper, still is. But he doesn’t have support in parliament to make that constitutional change — and maybe not in the country, either, if it went to a referendum. In both cases, the likeliest bloc of voters to be won over are nationalists who aren’t at all averse to talk of Turkey’s historic claims on nearby lands, or military attacks on Kurdish groups who live there.


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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam
Craig Erlam

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