If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past twelve months it’s that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is prepared to employ all manner of nefarious tactics in order to preserve his grip on power in Ankara.
Following unfavorable election results last June, Erdogan plunged the country into civil war be restarting a long simmering battle with the PKK and proceeded to crack down on journalists and anyone else critical of the ruling AKP. Ultimately, new elections were called and AKP put up a stronger showing, effectively paving the way for Erdogan to rewrite Turkey’s constitution and install an executive presidency.
But Erdogan’s bullying isn’t confined to his domestic political agenda. Greek media has obtained an internal memo which suggests the Turkish strongman effectively blackmailed the EU by demanding cash payments in exchange for efforts to curb the flow of migrants into Western Europe. “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses,” Erdogan allegedly said, on the way to demanding $3 billion per year in aid.