Middle East Forum
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Ankara prepared for the clash with an extended period of verbal and (in the Syrian case) military aggression;
It then escalated and dared the other side to respond with force;
When the other side did respond forcefully, the Turkish leadership seized on this, seemingly delighted to make it the centerpiece of bilateral relations and refusing to let it go;
It avidly sought wide support through international fora (United Nations, NATO);
It came up with elaborate self-justifications; and
It exploited the incident to do as much damage as possible to the opponent.
Comments: (1) Given hostile Turkish relations with the governments of Iraq and Cyprus, don’t be surprised if it follows this same pattern in those two instances as well. Others – Greece, Armenia, Georgia, even Iran – could follow. (2) We are witnessing the step-by-step emergence of Turkey as a rogue state.